The regular season ended on a sour note for the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team Saturday as the Rams fell 64-52 at Utah.
CSU was able to run with the Utes for most of the game, leading Utah by two with 17:47 remaining in the second half. But freshman Taryn Wicijowski hit a layup that sparked a 12-0 run that gave the Utes enough breathing room to put the game out of reach.
â€œWe just had a string of turnovers and we just couldnâ€™t get it to stop,â€ head coach Kristen Holt said.
Sophomore Kim Mestdagh put in 18 points and grabbed seven boards on the day to go along with solid defense on start forward Kalee Whipple, who was held to 12 points.
â€œItâ€™s really great to play against a player like that,â€ she said.
Forward Chatilla van Grinsven scored 16 points on the day and blocked one shot.
CSUâ€™s defense held Utahâ€™s dynamic duo of Whipple and Wicijowski to a combined 24 points and nine rebounds, nearly seven points and four rebounds below their averages.
â€œThey really didnâ€™t get a whole lot of clean looks,â€ Holt said.
While Whipple and Wicijowski had below-average days, the Utesâ€™ supporting cast more than made up the slack. Three other players scored in the double digits, led by sophomore Janita Badonâ€™s 13 points and five steals.
â€œToo many complimentary players had good games,â€ Holt said.
The Rams led 30-25 at halftime following a Mestdagh three from the left wing with seven seconds remaining. CSU only committed seven turnovers in the first half and shot 46 percent from the field.
On the flip side, Utah turned the ball over nine times, which led to 13 points for the Rams.
With the loss, CSU will have the eighth seed in the Mountain West Conference Championships this week in Las Vegas and play fifth-seeded New Mexico in the opening round.
The Rams defeated the Lobos in Fort Collins, but fell at â€œThe Pitâ€ in Albuquerque.
â€œWeâ€™ve beaten them once so we should be pretty confident,â€ Holt said.
CSU has played New Mexico in the conference tournament six times, but have only come out victorious once (2001).
â€œWe can beat them again if we play hard and focus,â€ van Grinsven said.
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.