Dec. 6, 2011
CSU vs. North Dakota | Game 9
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||NORTH DAKOTA FIGHTING SIOUX|
After 18 days away from Moby, Colorado State (1-7) hosts North Dakota (4-3) Thursday in the first of three home games in December. Tipoff vs. the Fighting Sioux is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
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.
Mutual opponent Montana State handed North Dakota its third loss of the season Sunday with a final score of 67-63. The Sioux have now lost two consecutive contests and bring a 1-1 road record to Fort Collins.
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. Fighting Sioux series...
Thursday's meeting between Colorado State and North Dakota marks just the second game between the two schools. CSU holds a 1-0 advantage all-time, and this will be the first time the two teams have played in Moby.
This will also be Head Coach Kristen Holt's second game vs. UND.
About North Dakota...
North Dakota was picked to win the Great West Conference title for the third year in a row. The team is currently one win back from the GWC leader, New Jersey Institute of Technology, in second place. UND is slated to move to the Big Sky Conference next year.
Head Coach Gene Roebuck, now in her 25th season in Grand Forks, boasts an .817 winning percentage with the Sioux. She returns eight letterwinners, including three starters from last year's team that advanced to the third round of the GWC tournament, where they fell to No. 1 seed Chicago State in 2010-11.
Junior Nicole Smart recorded a career-high 19 points and sophomore Madi Buck added 14, but North Dakota shot a season-low 33.3 percent from the field vs. the Bobcats on Sunday, in a 67-63 loss. Montana State converted UND's 19 turnovers into 17 points and held the bench to just nine points.
Buck and Smart are the team's leading scorers, averaging 12.4 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. Buck is also the leading rebounder, averaging an impressive 10.1 per contest. The Fighting Sioux have defeated New Mexico State (11/26), 63-46, and lost to Drake (12/1), 74-60, on the road.
Last time vs. UND...
Junior Kim Mestdagh had an outstanding second half for the Rams, scoring 24 points in the final 20 minutes of play, leading the Rams to a 68-61 victory over the North Dakota Fighting Sioux on Nov. 21, 2010.
After gaining an early lead, CSU went into to a scoring drought for 6 minutes, 29 seconds at the end of the first half and into the second half as UND scored 10 unanswered points to tie the game. The contest featured four lead changes and it was tied six different times. The Rams never trailed by more than one point, however.
The Rams did catch a break at the free-throw line. North Dakota, who was averaging 84.6 percent at the free-throw line, hit only 65.2 percent of its shots (15-23), while CSU was 88.2 percent on the night, making 15 of 17 free throws.
Last time out...
It was another close game down to the final minute at Savage Arena Sunday. But Toledo was the team to pull away in the end as the Rams lost, 58-51.
Colorado State fell to 1-7 on the year, while the 2011 WNIT champion Toledo Rockets improved to 5-2 on the season and 46-5 at home.
Colorado State quickly got into turnover trouble early in the contest, committing six in the first five minutes of play and 16 through the end of the first half. The Rams kept the score close, but the Rockets ultimately took advantage of CSU's mistakes, scoring 23 points off the team's giveaways. Three starters had five turnovers or more, adding to the team's 27 total.
Sophomore Sam Martin was the team's leading scorer with 21, followed by Kim Mestdagh, who also tallied double figures with 14. It was Martin's third time in four games she registered 20 or more points.
Redshirt freshman Mandy Makeever left the game at halftime with a shoulder injury and did not return to the contest. LaDeyah Forte played the point guard position for the remainder of the game with eight points and four assists.
The Rockets, top scorer, Courtney Ingersoll, who averages 13.2 points per game, was held scoreless through the first half, but improved in the second, scoring 10 points on the afternoon.
CSU has played a difficult schedule to begin 2011-12. As of 1 p.m. MT Sunday, seven out of eight of the Rams' opponents so far this season have a winning record. Tulsa, the Rams' lone win this season was vs. the only team below .500. Colorado State now has four losses with less than a seven-point differential.
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