Feb 232011
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

CSU was able to stay with the Brigham Young women’s basketball team for 13 minutes.

College basketball, however, is a 40 minute game and the Cougars won 64-55 Wednesday night in their last trip to Moby Arena as a member of the Mountain West Conference.

The loss was the Rams’ fifth consecutive defeat this season.

BYU hit five of its first six threes to open the second half, extending an eight point lead to 19 over the course of 10 minutes. Senior guard Mindy Bonham, originally from Centennial, Colo., scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Cougars.

“I think she’s the best player in our league,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “She can do so many things for us, and tonight she knew she needed to score for us.”

The Rams led by as many as seven points halfway through the first half, but defensive collapses and a lack of effort at times ended up sinking them.

“I think sometimes in those stretches we just lose what we’re doing,” freshman forward Sam Martin said. “We’re not playing as a team and communicating, and we’re just playing on our own instead of staying together through those hard times.”

Martin picked up her second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Kim Mestdagh led the Rams with 24 points in only 30 minutes, with 14 coming in the second half. Sophomore guard Chantel Kennedy joined them in double-figures, posting a career-high 11 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists.

“Coach has been talking to me lately about looking for my shot and penetrating when I see the opportunity,” Kennedy said. “I was aggressive, and it worked in my favor so I just stayed aggressive the whole game.”

The Cougars’ trademark press was ineffective, causing few turnovers and leading to only two fast break points.

“They did a good job breaking the press,” Judkins said. “We had to get out of it.”
Even with the fifth consecutive loss, CSU does not feel its season is slipping away.

“The thing that’s going to be the super-duper test now is can we duplicate a lot of good we’ve done from this game into Saturday and Wednesday and Saturday of next week,” Holt said.

The Rams play Air Force on Saturday before heading out to Utah next week and wrapping up their season at home against San Diego State on March 5.

“I don’t think we’ve given up yet,” Martin said. “We’re still working hard in practice. That’s just our mentality, and we still have that mentality.”

Women’s basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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