Nov. 3, 2011
Colorado State (0-0) hosts its final exhibition matchup Saturday vs. CSU-Pueblo. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena (8,745).
Head Coach Kristen Holt and the Rams finished 14-16 in 2010-11 en route to building their program of excellence, improving their spot in the league standings by four notches for a fourth-place finish in the Mountain West. Junior Kim Mestdagh and freshman Sam Martin were awarded with post-season all-conference honors.
Mestdagh earned the preseason Player of the Year title to start the 2011-12 season. She is 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 contest on Saturday will be the second for both teams. CSU-Pueblo played its first exhibition game at Wyoming. The ThunderWolves lost to the Cowgirls, 67-46.
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. Thunderwolves series...
Saturday's meeting between Colorado State and CSU-Pueblo marks the second game between the two schools under Head Coach Kristen Holt.
The Rams hosted their sister school to the south on Oct. 29, 2009. Sophomore Kim Mestdagh scored a game-high 25 points in an 81-59 win.
The ThunderWolves are under the direction of head coach Kip Drown in his seventh year with CSU-Pueblo. He has a 117-63 (.650) record in six years at the helm. Colorado Christian finished sixth in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference last season.
The ThunderWolves' top returners are senior Kendall Babler and junior Erica Hicks. Babler averaged 14.4 points, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game last season, while Hicks averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 boards per game in 2010-11.
This season the Rams return three starters in Mestdagh and sophomore captains Sam Martin and Hayley Thompson. Other letterwinners returning are Kelly Hartig and Amber Makeever.
Redshirt junior Meghan Heimstra will see action again this season after sitting out last year with a hip injury. CSU also returns red shirt freshman Mandy Makeever, who played in only one game last season before falling prey to a shoulder injury.
Colorado State brings in five freshmen this season: Carlyn Chavez (Portland, Ore.), LaDeyah Forte (Pensacola, Fla.), Morgan Hunt (Colleyville, Texas), Hanne Mestdagh (Ieper, Belgium) and Fort Collins native Kara Spotton (Rocky Mountain). Hanne Mestdagh is the younger sister of teammate Kim Mestdagh.
Excellent in exhibition...
Head Coach Kristen Holt is 6-0 in exhibition contests since taking over the reins of the CSU women's basketball program in 2008-09. In those contests, the Rams have averaged 79.2 points per contest, while holding opponents to an average of 60.0 points. The following is a list of
CSU's exhibition games under Holt:
10/30/11 Colorado Christian W, 76-35
11/05/10 Colorado Christian W, 81-75
11/06/09 Adams State W, 84-67
10/29/09 CSU-Pueblo W, 81-59
11/07/08 Colorado Christian W, 94-66
10/31/08 Adams State W, 59-58
Colorado State's 2011-12 schedule features seven contests against teams that participated in the postseason last year, four of which went to the NCAA tournament. The Rams' first regular-season contest is vs. Northern Iowa, which fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament to another Rams 2011 opponent, Michigan State. The Spartans won the Big Ten championship last season and advanced to the second round of the tournament. MSU is ranked 25th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, and is receiving votes in the AP/Writers' Poll.
At the beginning of December, the Rams will have a tough road matchup at Toledo. The Rockets were last season's WNIT champions, defeating USC 76-68. NCAA participant Bowling Green will then visit Moby Arena for a New Year's Eve matchup.
The MW schedule features two teams that were featured in the WNIT, TCU and Sweet-16 contender,Wyoming.
Moving up the charts...
At the start of her senior year, Kim Mestdagh is on her way to the top of the charts in the Rams' record book. The leading returning point scorer in the Mountain West for the second-consecutive year has cracked the top-10 on the all-time points list at CSU. She enters the 2011-12 year with 1,233 career points, 102 away from ninth-place Karen Hosek-Kreuzer.
Last season Mestdagh led the Mountain West in free-throw percentage (.876), and was ranked in the top five in four other statistical categories. She hasn't missed a freethrow in 30 attempts, dating back to Jan. 29.
Mestdagh, a two-time second-team all-conference recipient, has hit more single-season three-pointers than any sophomore or junior in CSU history, eclipsing Becky Hammon each year.
The following is a list of Mestdagh's current spot in CSU's all-time record books:
Points 10. 1,233
Points Per Game (min. 45 games) 7. 13.55 (1,233/91)
Field Goals Made 15. 420 (999)
Field-Goal Attempts 11. 999 (420)
3-Point Field Goals Made 3. 221 (612)
3-Point Field Goal-Attempts 3. 612 (221)
3-Pt Field-Goal % (Based on 75 attempts) 10. .361 (221-612)
Free Throw % (Based on 100 attempts) 6. .804 (172-214)
Steals 13. 156
A family affair...
Colorado State's 2011-12 women's basketball organization features three sets of family members.
Amber and Mandy Makeever (twin sisters)
Kim and Hanne Mestdagh (sisters)
Taylor and Corey Steven (cousins)
New in 2011-12: Video Streaming...
The Rams will have all of their non-televised home contests streamed live on CSURams.com/All-Access this season. Fans can watch home games live on their computer for $9.95 per month or $59.95 per year. The fee also includes the ability to listen to the radio broadcast of every game online.
Colorado State will begin its regular season on the road for the first time since 2008. The team will play at Northern Iowa Nov. 11.