March 3, 2010
Final Stats |
By Nic Hallisey
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Rams battled the Aztecs tough for 30 minutes, leading by as many as four in the second half, but the Aztecs would outscore the Rams 31-12 over the final 10 minutes en route to a 73-54 win at Moby Arena Wednesday evening.
Trailing by three, 27-24, at the break, the Rams opened the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 31-27 lead with 16 minutes, 39 seconds to play. Minutes later, however, San Diego State came firing back with a 9-0 run of its own to capture its largest lead at the time, 39-33.
Kim Mestdagh, who finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists, connected on her second consecutive three-pointer with 11:08 to play, and a steal on the other end by Chatilla van Grinsven led to a fast-break layup by Meghan Heimstra. Heimstra, who drew a foul on the play, converted the free throw to tie the score at 42-42 with 10:41 to play.
San Diego State would use a 17-4 run over the next 3:05, however, and led by double digits the rest of the way. Its largest lead, 19, was the final score.
“It’s tough to beat a team like San Diego State, especially when you basically only have six players,” said Head Coach Kirsten Holt.
The Rams were without Meixandra Porter, who suffered a concussion in Saturday’s loss to TCU, and got limited playing time from Chantel Kennedy, who is battling the flu, and Zoi Simmons.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but we were basically worn out toward the end,” Holt said. “We didn’t get any loose balls when we needed to.”
Trailing by six, 18-12, with 12:37 to play in the first half, van Grinsven, who had 12 first-half points, scored six consecutive Colorado State points, part of an 8-1 run that gave the Rams a 20-19 lead with just over three minutes left in the half.
During that stretch, the Rams held San Diego State’s offense without a field goal for 9:33. The Aztecs turned the ball over seven times and shot 0-for-11 from the floor during the drought.
“They were the No. 1 preseason pick for a reason,” Holt said. “We handled them a lot better this time around.”
Both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor on the night, but the big difference was from beyond the arc. Colorado State connected on just 4-of-19 from three-point range, compared to San Diego State’s 10-for-22. The Aztecs also outrebounded the Rams 48-36 and forced more turnovers, 21-17.
The Rams were led by Heimstra and van Grinsven, who scored 16 points apiece. Heimstra also led the Rams with eight rebounds while van Grinsven grabbed seven.
San Diego State’s Jene Morris led all scorers with 23 points, followed by Quenese Davis’ 17.
Despite the loss, the Rams closed out their home schedule 9-5 on the season, their best home record since 2004-05 when they went 11-5 at Moby Arena.
The team will travel to Salt Lake City to face the Utes on Saturday afternoon at 2 MT. The Rams need a win, in addition to a UNLV loss at Wyoming, in order to jump ahead of UNLV for the seventh seed heading into the conference tournament next week.