Feb. 23, 2012
CSU vs. San Diego State | Game 28
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS|
Colorado State (12-15, 8-4 MW) plays its final home game of the season vs. first-place San Diego State (21-5, 11-1). Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT.
With the Rams loss to UNM, the Aztecs clinched the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West tournament on Wednesday. They have lost just one game (at TCU) in the past 18 contests dating back to Dec. 16.
CSU has surpassed its conference win total from 2010-11 with eight on the year, totaling the most Mountain West victories under Head Coach Kristen Holt since she took over the reins four seasons ago. Colorado State is tied with UNLV in second place in the league standings, with a one-game lead over the two teams tied for third (TCU and Wyoming).
CSU's Kim Mestdagh earned the preseason Player of the Year title to start the 2011-12 season. She was the first to earn the honor since Becky Hammon in 1998-99. CSU was picked to finish third in the final standings. It was the highest prediction for the Rams since the 2002-03 season, when CSU was picked to finish in second place.
The game will be broadcast live on AM 1410 KIIX. Matt Wozniak, in his third season with the Rams, calls all the action. Live game audio will also be available via Rams All-Access subscription on CSURams.com.
Rams vs. Aztecs series...
Saturday's meeting between Colorado State and San Diego State will be the 42nd game between the two schools. This is Head Coach Kristen Holt's eighth contest vs. the Aztecs. She is 2-5 with a lost on the road earlier this season.
The Rams are 17-25 vs. SDSU overall with a 10-9 record in Fort Collins. The last time the Aztecs visited Moby Arena, on March 5, 2011, they fell to CSU 66-51.
Last time at San Diego State: Jan. 28, 2012...
Costly turnovers punished the Rams, as Colorado State fell, 66-57, to San Diego State at Viejas Arena.
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for CSU (8-13, 4-2 Mountain West) and SDSU (16-4, 6-0) upped its win streak to 12 games.
Colorado State was down by as much as 13 in the first half. Sam Martin and Kim Mestdagh led a small late surge for the Rams, connecting on five points, bringing the team to within eight at the end of the half.
San Diego State wasn’t affected, however, continuing where it left off in the second stanza, going on an 11-2 run, bringing its lead to 17. Though the Rams never let up, cutting the deficit down to seven in the final minutes, the Aztecs held strong for the victory.
CSU, which was averaging just under 15 turnovers over the past three games, committed 22, allowing SDSU to convert 30 points off the giveaways.
Mestdagh was the bright spot for the Rams, scoring 21 points on the day. It was her third time in a four-game stretch she hit the 20-point mark.
Meghan Heimstra also had a double-digit afternoon for Colorado State, connecting on 11 points. It was her second-consecutive game in double figures. Martin had a small surge of her own at the very end of the contest, netting 11 as well.
Kelly Hartig had a rough afternoon with three fouls nearing the end of the first half, forcing her to lose playing time. Kara Spotton also corralled her second foul shortly afterward, costing her time on the court.
The Aztecs’ Courtney Clements continued her stellar play with 19 points for San Diego State. She was 5-of-8 beyond the arc. Chelsea Hopkins, a transfer from Duke, added 15 for the Aztecs along with eight assists.
About San Diego State...
- The Aztecs are regular season conference champions. They clinched the title with two games to play before the MW tournament. It was the Aztecs second title in four years.
- SDSU's only loss in league play was at TCU on Feb. 4. It was a low-scoring affair with San Diego State registering only 19 second-half points in the 58-39 loss. The only other close call the Aztecs had was at UNLV on Jan. 14. The Rebels took them to overtime before SDSU got the 66-62 win.
- In MW games San Diego State is first in 10 statistical categories, including scoring margin (plus-10.4), rebounding margin (plus-5.8) and turnover margin (plus-4.2). The team also boasts the highest free-throw percentage in the league at .763.
- Junior Courtney Clements leads the team and is third in MW games in scoring, averaging 17.1 points per matchup. She is first in the conference in free-throw percentage, making an outstanding 94.1 percent of her shots from the line. Clements has scored 20 or more points in 10 games this season.
- Fellow junior Chelsea Hopkins leads the Aztecs elsewhere on the court. She holds the top spot in the MW in assists per game with 7.4, which also ranks 10th in the nation. Not suprisingly her 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio is first the league as well. She also leads the team in rebounds per contest with 5.8.
- Chaires Culberson controls the offensive boards however, averaging 3.3 each matchup, good for second in the Mountain West.
- Up by just one point at the half, Clements scored 17 second-half points and San Diego State got its first win at Wyoming since 1997. Malia Nahinu connected on 6-7 for 12 points, and the team made 18 of its 21 free throws, including 9 of 10 in the final three minutes for the 68-55 win.
Last time out...
Three offensive possessions by the Lobos in the first minute set the tone Wednesday night at The Pit. Colorado State cut into UNM's lead in the final minutes, but it was too little too late as time expired, giving New Mexico the 53-45 win.
The Rams fall to 12-15 overall and 8-4 in conference play, tying with UNLV, who won earlier this evening, in second place. New Mexico improves to 9-17 overall and 3-9 in the Mountain West.
CSU suffered through an eight-minute scoring drought midway through the contest. The Lobos went on an 18-5 run while the Rams slowly regained conscientious, giving them as much as a 14-point lead with 6:05 on the clock.
New Mexico dominated on the glass with a 41-27 rebound differential. The Lobos scored 17 second chance points off of 17 offensive rebounds, the Rams were only able to score six off of second-chance opportunities.
Kim Mestdagh and Sam Martin were the leading scorers for CSU, each tallying 15 points. Kelly Hartig tied her career high with nine rebounds.
UNM had four players register double-digits in the points column. Caroline Durbin was the Lobos leading scorer with 16 points.
One win away from 50...
With 49 wins at CSU, Head Coach Kristen Holt is just one victory away from the mid-century mark. With at least three games remaining this season, Holt is on pace to become the fifth head coach in program history to achieve 50 or more wins at Colorado State.
If Holt tallies 50 in the win column this season, she will become just the third coach to reach 50 wins in four seasons or less. Former head coach Chris Denker achieved 50 wins in three seasons, and Tom Collen led the squad with former standout Becky Hammon to 50 wins in just two seasons at the helm.
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