Nov. 11, 2011
By Danielle Marshall
Athletic Media Relations
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Colorado State kept the game close, and even led at halftime, but costly fouls gave Northern Iowa the win at the McCleod Center Friday night, 61-50, in the season opener for both teams.
The game saw eight lead changes, five occurring in the second half, but fouls by the Rams late in the contest allowed the Panthers to pull away on the charity stripe with five minutes remaining.
CSU struggled with the Panthers' defense.
"We didn't handle it very well," said Head Coach Kristen Holt. "Once they tasted blood, we got tentative and couldn't hold on. Everything just fell apart."
Kim Mestdagh was held scoreless for 35 minutes, but not for a lack of effort. She pulled down six rebounds in the first half, and totaled a career-high 12 on the night. It was Mestdagh's first double-digit rebound game since Jan. 12, vs. New Mexico.
Colorado State committed several fouls early in the contest, the majority of which were away from the ball, putting UNI in the bonus with 13:55 left in the half. Kara Spotton, making his collegiate debut, sat out much of the second half after fouling out with more than 10 minutes remaining.
Mestdagh, Meghan Heimstra, Sam Martin, Spotton and Mandy Makeever got the start Friday evening. It was Makeever's first start since the UNI game at Moby Arena last season. She bucketed the Rams' first five points in the contest, scoring 11 on the night.
Martin and Heimstra also tallied double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Heimstra also fouled out of the contest with 1:51 left.
The entire roster, aside from injured players Amber Makeever and Hanne Mestdagh, saw action in the game. Morgan Hunt was called in to save the Rams in foul trouble late in the second stanza.
The Rams have a quick turnaround as they prepare for Arizona State. CSU will play the Sun Devils Sunday at 2 p.m. in Moby Arena.