Feb 022012
 
Authors: Andrew Schaller

With half of the conference schedule completed, the CSU women’s basketball team will look to continue its exceptional play of late on Saturday afternoon, when it travels to Colorado Springs to battle Air Force.

The Rams (9-13, 5-2 MW) are coming off a 12-point victory over UNLV, a win that propelled CSU into a tie for second place in the Mountain West shortly after losing to San Diego State the week before.

“I think we came out really strong,” guard Kim Mestdagh said. “And we corrected the things that we did wrong against San Diego State, so I think that was a really good game for us.”

The game on Saturday features a match-up between the Rams, who have lost only once in the last five games, and the last-place team in the MW, Air Force (5-17, 0-7 MW), who have not won a game in conference play.

CSU defeated Air Force 73-39 earlier in the year at home, but the Rams have struggled away
from Moby Arena all year, going just 2-8 on the road this season.

“It’s very important,” CSU coach Kristen Holt said of the game. “We don’t want to lose to Air
Force and then be in a position where it knocks us out of where we are right now.”

One way the Rams will try to maintain their second-place standing in the MW is through
their play in the post.

CSU has a considerable height advantage over Air Force, as the Falcons boast only one player over 6-feet tall, while the Rams have six, a match-up they are likely to exploit on Saturday.

CSU has used its size advantage throughout the season, notably against UNLV, when CSU
forwards accumulated 31 points and 15 rebounds, opening up scoring opportunities for their shooters on the outside.

“It’s really hard to guard inside-out,” forward Meghan Heimstra said. “We have a lot of outside
threats, (and) we’ve got some inside threats, so it’s pretty hard for people to guard us.”

Working the ball inside to the post then getting open shots on the outside has particularly
benefited Mestdagh, who has scored 20 or more points in four of her last five games.

“Everyone is being a threat actually, offensively,” Mestdagh said. “And that makes it easier for me to get open because, I mean, (defenses) don’t have to guard just one person, and they have to focus on five players on the court.”

Women’s basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Who: CSU vs. Air Force
When: Saturday at 2 p.m.
Where: U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs

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