Nov. 22, 2011
Colorado State at Denver | Game 5
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||DENVER PIONEERS|
Colorado State (1-3) begins a four-game road stint at Denver (3-0) Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., but will likely get off to a late start due to a men's game at 5 p.m.
Only two of the Rams' next four road games are outside the state of Colorado. After the matchup at Denver, CSU will leave for Bozeman, Mont., to take on Montana State on Nov. 29. Colorado State will travel to Greeley for a matchup at Northern Colorado on Dec. 2, followed by the team's second flight this season to the Midwest to Toledo, Ohio, to challenge the Rockets on Dec. 4.
Kim 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.
DU is on a three-game win streak to start out the 2011-12 season, defeating Loyola Marymount and MW conference foes Wyoming and Air Force.
The game will also 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. Pioneers series...
Wednesday's meeting between Colorado State and Denver marks the 23rd game between the two schools. CSU holds a 15-7 advantage all-time, and has a 5-4 record in Colorado's capital. Last season the Rams snapped a five-game losing streak to Denver with a 72-56 win at Moby Arena.
Last time vs. DU.. .
The Colorado State Rams put up an offensive showing Nov. 23, 2010, at Moby Arena, shooting 56.5 percent from the floor and scoring a season high in points in a 72-56 win over the Denver Pioneers.
With the win, Colorado State's first over Denver in six seasons, the Rams evened their record to 2-2, and picked up their first home win of the season.
The Rams were led by junior Kim Mestdagh, who reached double figures for the fourth consecutive game with 24 points. Also leading the charge was junior Chatilla van Grinsven, who tied a career high with 22 points, and freshman Sam Martin, who set a career high with 15 points. The three players accounted for all but 11 of the team's points, and shot 23-of-32 from the floor, making up all but three of the team's 26 baskets.
The two teams exchanged buckets through the first eight minutes, seeing one tie and five lead changes before the Rams took over and eventually entered the locker room with a 33-26 halftime lead. The Rams struck first in the second half, taking a 10-point lead after a three-pointer by Mestdagh, one of her five on the night, but five early turnovers let Denver (1-2) back into the game. Colorado State led by just two, 40-38, with 15 minutes, 58 seconds remaining.
But the Rams were able to go on an 18-10 run over the next 10:05 to bring the lead back to double digits, and never looked back, leading by at least eight the rest of the game.
Now in his third year, head coach Erik Johnson has tallied a 56-40 record with the Pioneers. After finishing with an 11-5 record in the Sun Belt conference (second in the West Division), DU was awarded with a WNIT bid, losing to BYU (75-60) in the first round.
Senior Kaetlyn Murdoch tallied a game-high 19 points, and sophomore Quincey Noonan contributed 14 points as the Pioneers outlasted Air Force, 54-52, in Colorado Springs on Thursday. Junior Emiko Smith recorded eight of DU's 16 assists on the night. Both teams shot poorly from the line (DU made 13 of 30), but with each team making 20 field goals, it was two free throws that allowed Denver to get the win.
Murdoch and Noonan are the top-two scorers for the Pioneers, averaging 22.7 and 11.7 points, respectively. Murdoch's 28 points vs. Wyoming pushes her average above the 20-point mark. She has scored at least 19 in each contest to start the season. Morgan Shell rounds out the top three with 10.3 points per game. Sophomore Maiya Michel leads DU defensively with 8.7 rebounds per game and Smith averages an impressive 8.0 assists per matchup.
The Pioneers have outscored their opponents by an average of 14.3 points per game. They also have a plus-7.3 rebounding margin and a plus-3.0 turnover margin, committing 3.0 fewer turnovers than their opponents.
Last time out...
The Colorado State women's basketball team lost to the Colorado Buffaloes, 72-53, Sunday afternoon at Moby Arena.
Junior Meghan Heimstra scored the first point of the game, but the Rams didn't score again until 10 minutes later. The Buffaloes started the game on an 18-2 run, and their biggest lead of the night was 21.
The Rams never gave up, but their shots wouldn't go in. They shot 19-for-49 from the floor, while Colorado shot 28-for-57. The Buffaloes out rebounded the Rams, 37-28. Colorado scored 25 points off of the Rams' 21 turnovers, while the Rams scored nine off of the Buffaloes 19 turnovers.
Mestdagh scored 19 points and recorded four assists. Martin fouled out with 9:39 remaining in the second half, finishing with five points. Heimstra ended up with eight rebounds and nine points.
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 was 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 is receiving votes in AP/Writer's 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.
Early season MW notes (as of Nov. 22)...
Early in the season the Rams are making their mark in the league statistics. Redshirt freshman Mandy Makeever is second in her class averaging 8.0 points per game. Sam Martin holds the same spot among sophomores with 11.5 points, while senior Kim Mestdagh tops the charts for seniors averaging 18.8 points per matchup.
MW stats update...
Despite a slow start, the Rams have moved up the charts in the Mountain West statistical categories. Kim Mestdagh ranks in the top five in five categories: first in minutes played (36.0 per game), second in scoring (18.8 points per game), tied for second in assists (4.5 per game), fifth in three-pointers per game (2.0) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). Other Rams making an appearance in the top five are Mandy Makeever, who is fifth in three-point field-goal percentage (.412), LaDeyah Forte averaging 3.3 assists per game and Meghan Heimstra, who leads the league in defensive rebounds (6.8) and ranks fourth in blocked shots (1.8).
CSU is ranked in the top three in five categories, but it hasn't cracked the top spot in one so far this season. The Rams are a distant second in free-throw percentage (.728) behind San Diego State (.829) with Air Force not far behind (.712). The team is also second in field-goal percentage (.418) and three-point field-goal percentage (.389). Colorado State places third in rebounding defense (35.2 rebounds allowed per game) and shots from beyond the arc with 5.3 per game.
MW career leaders (as of Nov. 22)...
Three Rams are ranked in the top 50 in the Mountain West record books. Sam Martin currently has the fifth-best field-goal percentage (.534) all-time since the league was formed in 1999. Meghan Heimstra is now tied for 38th in blocked shots with 61 in her career. Kim Mestdagh appears on the list four times: 1,308 points per game (27th), 445 field-goals made (31st), 229 three-point field-goals made (fifth) and 159 steals (30th).
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 currenlty has 1,308 career points, 27 away from ninth-place Karen Hosek-Kreuzer.
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. 1,308
Points Per Game (min. 45 games) 7. 13.77 (1,308/95)
Field Goals Made 13. 445 (1,048)
Field-Goal Attempts 11. 1,048 (445)
3-Point Field Goals Made 3. 229 (632)
3-Point Field Goal-Attempts 2. 632 (229)
3-Pt Field-Goal % (Based on 75 attempts) 10. .362 (229-632)
Free Throw % (Based on 100 attempts) 6. .804 (189-235)
Steals 11. 159
A family affair...
Colorado State's 2011-12 women's basketball organization features three sets of family members.
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.
2012 Women's Final Four in Denver ...
The Mountain West, in conjunction with Denver Sports, will be the host of the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., on April 1 & 3. Tickets are currently on sale to the general public. For more information about the event, go to NCAA.com or TheMWC.com
Colorado State travels to Bozeman, Mont., to take on the Montana State Bobcats Nov. 29. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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