Women's Basketball Faces Colorado State On The Road Saturday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/22/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 22, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico women's basketball team faces Colorado State Saturday in Fort Collins. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. MT inside Moby Arena, as the Lobos will try to win their 14th straight against the Rams. New Mexico enters Saturday's action tied for fourth in the Mountain West Conference with a 3-2 league mark. The Lobos are 11-6 overall and have won two straight. CSU is 10-7 on the year and 2-2 in conference play. The Rams are sixth in the standings.

New Mexico leads the all-time series with CSU, 33-27, and have won five straight in Moby Arena. The Lobos are 10-16 all-time when playing in Fort Collins. UNM battled CSU three times last year including a matchup in the MWC Championship. Lobo head coach Don Flanagan is 19-11 all-time against CSU.

Colorado State is 6-2 at home this season and won two of its last three games. The Rams have lost both home conference games this year. New Mexico is 3-2 on the road this season and 1-1 during conference action.

The last meeting between CSU and UNM was on March 11, 2009 in the quarterfinals of the MWC Championship held in Las Vegas. It was a close game at the half with New Mexico leading 25-22 but a big second half lifted the Lobos. UNM scored 37 points in the final 20 minutes and pulled out a 62-48 victory. Amy Beggin had a game-high 20 points while Angela Hartill had 18. Bonnie Barbee hit two of her 10 3-pointers and led CSU with 12 points.

The MWC standings remain a close race after three weeks of conference play. The top six schools are separated by one game. Four games are slated for Saturday with everyone playing except Wyoming. The Lobos have three games remaining in the first half of conference play heading into Saturday.

Junior Jessica Kielpinski has emerged as an All-MWC Candidate and is averaging 9.8 points per game during league play. The Mandan, N.D., native had her first career double-double at Utah and has averaged 9.5 rebounds over the last four games. Kielpinski currently leads UNM in rebounding with 5.8 boards per game this season. She has brought her season point average up to 7.1 and ranks fifth on the team.

Sophomore Sara Halasz is coming off a strong performance against Air Force. Halasz had 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds to log her first career double-double. She had 12 of her 14 points in the first half and most coming on breakaway layups.

Sophomore Lauren Taylor remains out for Saturday's game and is at least a week away according to Lobo coach Don Flanagan. Flanagan stated Thursday that Taylor should begin practice in a week and be listed as day-to-day after that. Taylor is out with a knee injury that occured during the UNLV game. She is the teams second leading scorer with 11.1 points per game.

New Mexico is coming off a 62-42 victory over Air Force Wednesday. Sophomore Sara Halasz highlighted the victory with her first career double-double. Halasz finished the game with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Wednesday marked the 27th consecutive win for the Lobos over Air Force. UNM held a 33-12 halftime lead but was outscored by the Falcons in the second half.

The Lobos shot 42.2 percent from the field but only hit 3-of-21 3-pointers in the contest. New Mexico outrebounded the Falcons, 48-30 and outscored Air Force 42-18 in the paint.

Colorado State is 10-7 overall and already tied its win total from last season. Second year head coach Kristen Holt guided the Rams to a 10-21 record last year. With one more win, CSU will have its highest win total since 2004-05 when they won 15 games.

Sophomore Kim Mestdagh leads CSU in scoring with 17.0 points per game. Mestdagh had a game-high 23 points Wednesday helping the Rams beat UNLV, 66-65, in overtime. Chati Van Grinsven is the only other CSU player averaging in double figures with 10.9 points per game.

The Rams have three players averaging over 5.0 rebounds per contest. Meghan Heimstra is dominating the glass with 8.8 boards per game. Heimstra had nine rebounds against UNLV.

CSU pulled out an overtime victory Wednesday against UNLV. Mestdagh led the way with 23 points while Van Grinsven added 10 and Zoi Simmons had 12. The Rams hit 10 3-pointers and shot 34.3 percent from the field.

Following the CSU game, UNM will head to Provo, Utah to battle BYU. The game is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. live on BYU-TV.