The third time was the charm for the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team as the Rams picked up their first win of the season 87-68 over the University of Tulsa.
Senior guard Kim Mestdagh scored a career-high 35 points on the night on 11 of 15 shooting, seven of nine from behind the three-point line.
â€œThereâ€™s not a thing we could do to stop her,â€ Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman said. â€œMy hatâ€™s off to her.â€
CSU led by three at halftime, but went on a 12-0 run coming out of the half to break the game wide open.
â€œAnytime you go into the locker room you feel like the momentum you might have had could be taken away, the other teamâ€™s getting screamed at,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œI really liked how we came out in the second half and set the tone for what we wanted to do.â€
Freshman point guard LeDeyah Forte revved up the teamsâ€™ offense on the fast break at the start of the second half, starting in place of Kara Spotton.
â€œBased on the last two games, we were kind of stagnant and not getting too much movement,â€ Forte said. â€œPushing the ball up the floor made a big difference.â€
The Rams led by as many as 26 points in the second half and finished the game with four out of five starters on the bench.
â€œWe finally played like we wanted to play, a fast game,â€ Mestdagh said. â€œWe can use this game as a standard. I think it will give us confidence.â€
Junior forward Megan Heimstra started the game playing with loads of confidence, blocking five shots in the first half and finishing with a double-double, 12 points and 13 rebounds. Heimstra missed most of the second half of the teamâ€™s last game against Arizona State with a hip injury.
â€œIt was fun getting out there and making those stops. It brings up our energy and we can get some good transition (baskets),â€ she said.
Tulsa had four players in double figures for the game, lead by junior guard Taleya Mayberryâ€™s 17.
â€œOur scoring was balanced, thatâ€™s what we want to see,â€ Mossman said. â€œThat first four minutes of the second half just absolutely killed us.â€
CSU plays the University of Colorado Sunday at Moby Arena to close out its three game home stand.
â€œWhat our team has to realize is that it was a good win for us, but we havenâ€™t arrived,â€ Holt said. â€œWeâ€™ve just got to stay the course and keep getting better.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Mestdagh on Fire
Points: 35 (career high)
73 percent shooting from the field
7-9 from three-point range
6-6 free throws