The CSU womenâ€™s basketball team fell 68-65 to Utah Wednesday night at Moby Arena, giving the Rams a three-game losing streak. CSU is 1-3 at home against conference opponents this season.
Meghan Heimstra missed a three-pointer as time expired that would have sent the game into overtime.
Utah forward Kalee Whipple, who finished with 20 points on the night, sank two key free throws after she was fouled following an offensive rebound.
â€œThe difference was that last offensive board,â€ sophomore Kim Mestdagh said. â€œIf we had that one, we had a better chance of winning this game.â€
Mestdagh finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and four steals on the night, as well as scoring eight of her teamâ€™s last 10 points.
The Rams (11-10, 3-5 MWC) trailed by five with seven minutes remaining; however solid defense and timely scoring allowed them to cut the deficit and have a chance to win at the horn.
Utah (13-8, 4-4) opened the second half with an eight-to-one run and set a physical tone for the rest of the game.
â€œThey got that lead, and we shouldâ€™ve come out more aggressive, because that would make it easier on us,â€ sophomore Natalie van den Adel said.
The Utes out-rebounded CSU 31-28, including a 13-12 advantage on the offensive glass.
â€I was disappointed in our inside game today,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said.
Chatilla van Grinsven, Heimstra and van den Adel combined for 22 points and 10 rebounds, only four of them coming on the offensive end.
â€œI donâ€™t think our inside defense against (Utahâ€™s Taryn Wicijowski) was that good,â€ Holt said. â€œI thought we let her catch the ball pretty deep in the paint.
Wicijowski scored 22 points and pulled down four rebounds on the night.
The Rams only gave the ball away 19 times, nine of which came in the first half. The entire first half was played within an eight-point range and CSU led by as many as six during the opening period while the Utes only managed to pull ahead by two.
The Rams scored the gameâ€™s first five points and held Utah without a field goal for the first three minutes and twenty seconds.
CSU plays at Wyoming on Saturday.
â€œWeâ€™ve gotta keep our kids focused,â€ Holt said. â€œThereâ€™s enough basketball left that we donâ€™t need to be hanging our heads, and weâ€™ve gotta regroup.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._