March 2, 2011
By Tony Phifer
Seniors Bonnie Barbee, Zoi Simmons and Sara Hemmings will be honored Saturday when the CSU's women's basketball team closes its home season Saturday against San Diego State.
Three seniors will take their final bow at Moby Arena at 1 p.m. Saturday when the CSU women’s basketball team hosts San Diego State in the home finale.
The Rams (13-15, 6-9 Mountain West Conference) already have matched their 2009-10 season win total and are hoping to finish as high as fourth in the league. CSU, which is missing several players expected to contribute this season, was picked to finish eighth in the MWC’s preseason poll.
“We’ve been able to improve this season without five people who would either be starting or significant contributors, and that’s what has made this season fun,” third-year coach Kristen Holt said. “We have never made excuses or talked about what we don’t have. This team has been really resilient.”
Kim Mestdagh has been the Rams’ top player this season. The junior from Belgium averages 17 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and has climbed into a tie for 10th on CSU’s all-time scoring list with a full year still to play.
Freshman sensation Sam Martin also has made significant contributions. The 6-foot-2 center averages 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, ranking second among MWC freshmen in both categories.
The Rams will bid farewell to seniors Bonnie Barbee, Zoi Simmons and Sara Hemmings in a pregame ceremony. Barbee and Simmons have played four years at CSU, while Hemmings is a transfer from Arizona who played two seasons.
All three players have been in the starting lineup at times this season, and Holt praised their commitment to the program.
“Bonnie and Zoi came here my first season as an assistant (2007-08), and we’ve kind of grown up together in this program,” she said. “I give them a lot of credit because they went through a coaching change when I was hired (prior to the 2008-09 season), and they have always been extremely positive. They have believed in the team and the team concept and have been great to have around.
“Sara is a former walk-on, and even though she doesn’t play a great deal, I named her team captain because of the respect she commands on this team. She has been the best captain I’ve ever been around as a coach. She really is a great leader.”
The Rams beat San Diego State earlier this season in San Diego – a huge win when you consider the Aztecs reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last year. Holt called the victory CSU’s best game of the season.
Tickets are available online or by calling (970) 491-7267.
The Rams open play Tuesday in the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas.