It wasnâ€™t the prettiest way to end a five game losing streak, but the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team got back into the win column Thursday night.
The Rams defeated the University of North Dakota 58-52 in Moby Arena, despite turning the ball over 23 times and shooting 15.4 percent from three-point range.
â€œHowever we could find a win tonight, that was the number one most important thing,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œI donâ€™t think my team would have bought into â€˜we got betterâ€™ today.â€
CSU led by 11 points with 6:53 to go in the second half, but North Dakota cut it to five on several occasions near the end of the game.
â€œWe didnâ€™t lock in quite as much in the second half,â€ senior forward Kelly Hartig said.
Hartig finished with seven points and two blocks in the game, in addition to defending North Dakotaâ€™s best post player Allyssa Wall and holding her to only four points.
â€œKeeping their two big post players to nine points was a big key because they try to get the ball inside, thatâ€™s a big part of their offense,â€ Holt said.
North Dakotaâ€™s 52 points was its lowest offensive output of the season, and the Fighting Sioux only shot 31.7 percent from the field, well below its season average of 39.6.
â€œWe had good shots, we just didnâ€™t make good decisions with the ball in the lane and it got rejected a couple times,â€ North Dakota coach Gene Roebuck said.
CSU finished with six blocks on the evening, two apiece by Hartig, Megan Heimstra, and Sam Martin. Martin led the team in scoring with 12 points, while Heimstra pulled down 11 rebounds to pace the team.
The Ramsâ€™ leading scorer for the season Kim Mestdagh, on the other hand, only put in 11 points on 36 percent shooting, in addition to turning the ball over 10 times.
â€œItâ€™s her pressing too much and trying to make it happen,â€ Holt said. â€œWe keep telling her she doesnâ€™t have to do it by herself.â€
Freshman point guard LaDeyah Forte picked up some of the offensive slack by scoring a career-high 10 points, hitting five of six shots from the free throw line. She also only turned the ball over once in a team-high 38 minutes of action.
â€œThatâ€™s a major responsibility, and I thought she took more control tonight,â€ Holt said.
CSU has a chance to take more control of its season and go on its first winning streak of the year Sunday when Maryville University visits Moby. Maryville is a Division II school and will come to Fort Collins after visiting the University of Wyoming on Saturday.
â€œI havenâ€™t seen them on film, but Iâ€™m assuming size-wise theyâ€™re not going to be as big,â€ Holt said. â€œWe canâ€™t overlook the fact that theyâ€™re a Division II school. We have to come in here, get better, and focus on what we need to do.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.