Despite a late second-half run, the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team fell short of making a comeback against San Diego State, losing 66-57.
CSU (8-13, 4-2 MW) reverted to its old form, turning the ball over 22 times, including six costly turnovers within the first seven minutes of the game.
â€œWe obviously were rattled because of the way we were turning the ball over,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œYouâ€™re playing a team â€” the best team in the conference right now on the road. You canâ€™t make those kind of mistakes.â€
After jumping ahead to a 33-25 lead at halftime, San Diego State (16-4, 6-0 MW) opened the second half on an 11-2 run, propelling them to a 17-point lead with just over 15 minutes left in the game.
The Rams managed to weather the storm late in the second half, cutting San Diego Stateâ€™s lead to seven in the last three minutes, but were unable to get any closer.
The run was spearheaded by getting the ball inside more to Sam Martin and Meghan Heimstra, which opened up more shots on the outside for Kim Mestdagh, who finished with a game-high 21 points.
â€œIn the second half we started posting up stronger,â€ guard Hayley Thompson said. â€œ[Guards] getting out on the perimeter really opened up (the) inside.â€
San Diego State was led by guards Courtney Clements and Chelsea Hopkins, who collectively shot 47.8 percent from the field, but according to San Diego State coach Beth Burns, the game was won on the interior.
â€œI thought the perimeter, obviously, did the bulk of our scoring,â€ she said. â€œBut our bigs really did some heavy lifting to change everything they like to do.â€
San Diego State has now won 12 straight games and sit in first place in the MW, ahead of UNLV and CSU.
The loss halts the Ramsâ€™ three-game winning streak, and places them in third place in the conference with eight games left in the regular season.
Next, CSU will play UNLV, the only team in the MW they havenâ€™t played yet, at home on Wednesday.
The Rams hope to take some of the positives of their second-half performance against San Diego State into the remainder of their season.
â€œWe played pretty good in the second half,â€ Mestdagh said. â€œThatâ€™s definitely a positive that we want to keep improving on.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Result: CSU: 57 San Diego State: 66
What: CSU vs. UNLV
When: Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Where: Moby Arena