Dec. 16, 2011
CSU vs. Michigan State | Dec. 20 | 1:30 p.m. MT | Cancun, Mexico
CSU vs. Indiana | Dec. 21 | 11 a.m. MT | Cancun, Mexico
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS|
Colorado State (3-7) is traveling outside the country for the first time in program history to faceoff against Michigan State (7-4) and Indiana (3-6) in the Triple Crown Caribbean Classic held in Cancun, Mexico, on Dec. 20-21. Tipoff vs. the Spartans will be on Dec. 20 at 1:30 p.m. MT, followed by a matchup vs. the Hoosiers Dec. 21 at 11 a.m.
Michigan State will have fresh legs coming into the tournament having not played since Dec. 10. Indiana will be the exact opposite with a home game Saturday vs. Northern Illinois. MSU is 1-1 on neutral court, while, like the Rams, Indiana has yet to play a neutral contest this season.
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.
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. Spartans series...
Tuesday's meeting between Colorado State and Michigan State will be the first game between the two schools. This will also be Head Coach Kristen Holt's first game vs. MSU.
About Michigan State...
The Spartans were picked to finish third in the league and redshirt senior Lykendra Johnson was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team, after winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2010-11. MSU earned its 11th NCAA tournament bid last season, falling in the second round to Green Bay. The team began the season receiving votes in both polls.
Michigan State had the upper hand on Texas in nearly every statistical category, but the No. 24 Longhorns had the edge in rebounds and free throws, which gave them the 61-53 win, Dec. 10 in Austin, Texas. Porsche Poole came off the bench to score a team-high 13 points, while Johnson added 11 rebounds.
Senior Poole, who has started nine games this season, is MSU's leading scorer with 12.3 points per game, followed by Johnson, who averages 9.7. Johnson leads the conference in rebounds per game with 10.1. Her one weakness seems to be her ability to shoot from the charity stripe. With a team-high 44 attempts, she averages a .477 free-throw percentage.
The Spartans plus-10.0 rebounding margin leads the Big Ten, along with their rebounding defense (33.5) and their defensive rebounding percentage (.716). MSU has defeated North Carolina A&T (113-60) and lost to Villanova (75-64) on neutral court. Michigan State's plus-10.9 scoring margin stems from four wins with a 23 or more point-differential.
Rams vs. Hoosiers series...
Wednesday's game marks just the second time Colorado State and Indiana have met. The Rams defeated the Hoosiers, 75-63, on Dec. 6, 1997 in Bloomington, Ind.
This will be Head Coach Kristen Holt's first game vs. Indiana.
The Hoosiers and the Rams have started 2011-12 in very similar fashion. Both teams have won games early, each has then gone on a five-game losing streak and both teams have won their most recent matchups. Also, just like CSU, Indiana's strength of schedule is in the top 100 at 55, according to RealTimeRPI.com. Colorado State's schedule places 38th.
Unlike CSU, however, Indiana's place in the conference rankings is near or at the bottom in most statistical categories. The Hoosiers one ray of sunshine is their offensive rebounds (16.3), ranking second in the Big Ten.
Juniors Jasmine McGhee and Aulani Sinclair are Indiana's top scorers, averaging 12.8 points per game, each. Senior Georgie Jones (8.2) and redshirt junior Sasha Chaplin (6.7) are the team's leading rebounders.
Indiana's last game was a one-point decision as the Hoosiers snapped a five-game losing streak, defeating IUPUI, 65-64, on the road in Indianapolis, Ind. The team had a nine-point lead at the half, but the Jaguars rallied back to take the lead midway through the second. Chaplin's four free throws sealed the win in the end for the Hoosiers. McGhee tallied a career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds in the contest, playing 39 minutes.
Last time out...
The Colorado State women's basketball team won, 73-35, against Maryville-St. Louis Dec. 11 at Moby Arena. Four players registered career highs.
It was the first time that a Colorado State (3-7) opponent scored 35 points or less since Nov. 16, 2001 vs. Sacramento State. Also it was the first time since an opponent shot 25 percent or less from the field since Dec. 18, 2007 at Idaho. It was the biggest winning margin under Head Coach Kristen Holt with 38.
Senior Kelly Hartig had a career-high 16 points, doubling her previous tally of eight points in 2007 when she played for Virginia. Freshman Kara Spotton had a career-high nine points and also recorded six rebounds and two steals, playing 23 minutes.
Senior Kim Mestdagh shot 5-for-7 beyond the arc and 6-for-6 at the line. Mestdagh moved up two spots to sixth in the all-time record book for career points at CSU with 1,401.
Colorado State had 26 points in the paint along with 15 second-chance points and 27 points off of Maryville's (2-5) 22 turnovers.
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