Feb. 9, 2010
By Garrett Finke
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State women’s basketball team dominated the Air Force Falcons Tuesday night, from start to finish, snapping a four-game losing streak. The Rams won the game 80-46, marking the highest victory margin of the season (34).
They say defense is the best offense, and it couldn’t have been any truer for the Rams Tuesday night. The Rams managed to force 25 Falcon turnovers and convert those into a whopping 35 points. Not to mention they also had a season high in blocks (8) and steals (17).
Head Coach Kristen Holt came out with a new look for the Rams, starting five guards including junior guard Sara Hemmings, making her first start of the season. The Rams came out with intensity as the quick guards put on a full-court press, stifling the Falcons.
“Defense starts with intensity, effort and focus,” Holt said. “We had them on their heels from the start. I’m really happy with their effort.”
The Rams (12-11, 4-6) held the Falcons (3-20, 0-10) to under 30 percent shooting in the first half and were led by sophomore Kim Mestdagh’s 10 points off the bench to take a 38-17 lead into halftime. While the starters brought the intensity, the bench fed off their energy and scored 24 of the Rams’ 38 points at half.
“Everybody tonight brought a lot of energy,” Hemmings said. “That was very important after we felt like we were in a slump.”
Five different Rams managed to score in double figures for the first time this season, including three players off the bench: Junior Bonnie Barbee (15), sophomore Natalie van den Adel (12), sophomore Chatilla van Grinsven (17), Mestdagh (13) and freshman Meixandra Porter (12).
The unselfish Rams also set a season high in assists, dishing out 20, and tied a season high with 11 three-pointers. Van den Adel had five assists, tying a career record when she did it against Delaware earlier in the season. It was also a career night for van Grinsven as she rejected a career-high five shots.
Every player for the Rams that saw minutes on the floor managed to get into the scoring column. However, Hemmings was the last player to score and waited until the last 1:38 to make a three pointer with time expiring on the shot clock. It was her only shot attempt of the night.
“I could hear my family yelling, ‘shoot it’,” Hemmings said. “I mostly shot it because the shot clock was up. I thought Chatilla was going to shoot it but passed it to me.”
Although Hemmings didn’t do much on the stat sheet she brought intangibles to the court that her teammates and coaches greatly respect.
“She was the player of the game,” Holt said. “We got really valuable minutes from her. She’s the standard.”
The season sweep of Air Force comes at a good time for the Rams as they prepare for the bye week.
“We haven’t had a win like that in a while,” Holt said. “It was a much-needed game going into the bye week.”
The next game for the Rams comes on Feb. 17. They will take on the BYU Cougars in Provo, Utah. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. that Wednesday night.
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