Game notes: Rams host UNLV in mid-week tilt
Jan. 30, 2012
CSU vs. UNLV | Game 22
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||UNLV REBELS|
Colorado State (8-13, 4-2 MW) is looking to recapture second place, Wednesday, when the Rams host UNLV (17-5, 5-1). CSU tips off at 7 p.m. MT.
The Rams are in for a another tough matchup vs. UNLV as they will try and snap a four-game win streak. UNLV is receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
CSU is currently tied for third in the Mountain West with TCU. A win on Wednesday would put CSU into a tie for second place with UNLV and possibly TCU, if the Horned Frogs beat Wyoming in Laramie that same night. There are only two games separating the top four schools in the league.
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. Rebels series...
Wednesday's meeting between Colorado State and UNLV will be the 35th game between the two schools. This is Head Coach Kristen Holt's seventh contest vs. the Rebels. Under her watch the Rams have compiled a 5-1 record vs. UNLV.
The Rams are 20-14 vs. UNLV with a 11-5 record in Fort Collins.
Last season vs. UNLV...
Jan. 18, 2011 (home): Colorado State fought a tight battle against UNLV in a live televised performance, and came away with a 68-63 win Jan. 18 at Moby Arena.
The win was significant considering the Rams played with only eight available players and only one true post player.
The win also gave Colorado State its second consecutive victory in front of a home crowd, a crowd that came alive when junior Kim Mestdagh sank her fourth of six treys of the night, marking her 1,000th career point. Mestdagh ended the night with 25 points, a career high against a conference opponent. Mestdagh eclipsed 20 points for the fifth time this season.
Hayley Thompson, who earlier this season hit two free throws to tie the game at Winthrop, was called in to replace an injured Chantel Kennedy after a hard foul on a layup took Kennedy out of the game. Thompson sank both free throws, extending the lead to 66-63 with 19 seconds remaining. Sam Martin clinched the win for the Rams when she hit two of her own free throws with only five seconds remaining.
Feb. 19, 2011 (away): Colorado State brought the game to within seven with just 53.6 seconds left, but UNLV got the 72-60 victory making late free throws Feb. 19 at Cox Pavilion.
The Rams (12-13, 5-7 MW) losing streak was extended to four games. This is the first time Head Coach Kristen Holt has lost to the Rebels, who improved to 10-17 and 3-10 in the Mountain West.
The Rams made several errant passes early in the matchup, committing six turnovers in the first 7 minutes creating a nine-point deficit. They chipped away at the Rebels lead, cutting it down to three points, but UNLV finished out the first half on an 11-4 run, giving CSU 10 points to make up for in the second stanza. The team kept fighting down to the final seconds, but was never able to regain the lead.
- The Rams will play their second game in a row vs. a team receiving votes in the polls. UNLV is being recognized in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll with two votes.
- The Rebels have not lost a matchup in regulation since Dec. 28. Their only loss in that eight-game stretch was to first-place San Diego State in overtime (62-58).
- UNLV challenged one ranked opponent earlier this season on Nov. 27 when it hosted No. 21 Georgetown in the Lady Rebel Roundup in Las Vegas. The Rebels were handed their first loss of the season falling to the Hoyas, 64-45.
- Senior Lenita Sanford, who leads the Rebels in scoring (13.0), rebounding (8.3) and blocks (2.3) in league play, has missed the past three games with a knee injury. Her status is day-to-day.
- Markiell Styles, also a senior, has taken Sanford's spot in the starting five. She is averaging 8.2 boards per contest.
- The Rebels have three additional players averaging double figures in the points column. Kelli Thompson (11.7), Mia Bell (10.5) and Jamie Smith (10.2).
- Smith is the second in Mountain West history and the only active player in the MW to have 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Since conference play began, she is pulling down 7.7 boards per game.
- UNLV tops the charts in three statistical categories in league action. the team is first in three-point field-goal percentage defense (.271), rebounds per game (40.2) and steals per game (10.5). The Rebels are also a close second behind SDSU in offensive rebounds, with 105 through the first six MW games.
- At home vs. Air Force on Saturday, the Rebels were caught in a close battle with the Falcons for much of the contest. After nearly a 10-minute drought without a field goal in the second half, UNLV was able to pull away for the 63-47 win. Smith recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Bell (11), Thompson (11) and freshman Alana Cesarz (10) each tallied double digits.
Last time out...
Costly turnovers punished the Rams Saturday afternoon, 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.