Air Force Opens Mountain West Slate at Colorado State
Sophomore Michelle Ivey

Jan. 9, 2012

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The Air Force women's basketball team opens up its Mountain West slate this Wednesday, Jan. 11, when it visits in-state rival Colorado State in a 12:00 p.m. contest.

Live Stats/Video:
Series History: Colorado State leads, 35-11
Last Season: In 2011, Colorado State swept both regular-season contests between the two teams, winning, 64-58, at the Academy and, 70-49, in Fort Collins. However, Air Force captured the win in the third meeting, as the ninth-seeded Falcons knocked off the fourth-seeded Rams, 66-63, in the opening round of the 2011 Mountain West Conference Championship.

In its final non-conference match-up of the season, Air Force dropped a 59-48 decision to visiting Longwood Saturday afternoon in Clune Arena. Sophomore Megan O'Neil was the lone Falcon to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points in 11 minutes, while senior captain Jamela Satterfield grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.

Air Force enters Wednesday's contest with a 5-10 overall record, including a 3-6 mark on the road.

Junior Alicia Leipprandt is the Falcons' leading scorer on the season, averaging 15.2 points per game, while classmate Dymond James, who has missed the last five games with an ankle injury, is also averaging in double figures scoring with 11.3 points per contest. James is also the team's leading rebounder with 7.1 boards per game.

Colorado State currently holds a 4-11 record on the season, including a 3-3 ledger at home. The Rams are coming off a 61-43 road loss to Seattle on Sunday.

Preseason conference player of the year Kim Mestdagh currently leads the Rams with 13.7 points per game, while Sam Martin is second on the team in scoring with 12.4 points per contest. Meanwhile, Meghan Heimstra is the leading rebounder for Colorado State, averaging 6.8 board per game.

In the latest conference statistics, Air Force leads the Mountain West in steals per game (9.8) and defensive rebounds per game (26.6) and ranks third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.278) and rebounding offense (40.3).

With the conference season beginning this week, the Falcons are anticipating the return of two of their three injured starters. Sophomore Cherae Medina and junior Dymond James are both expected to be back in action this week. Medina suffered a knee injury in the fourth game of the season, while James has missed the last five games with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, junior forward Katie Hilbig, who was injured in the Falcons' loss to Minnesota is expected to be back in the lineup by the end of the month.

Senior captain Jamela Satterfield was a solid defensive presence for the Falcons against Longwood on Saturday, grabbing 11 of her career-high 12 rebounds on the defensive end.

In addition, Satterfield registered a personal-best two blocks while grabbing a career-high-tying six steals against the Lancers.

The Falcons have definitely felt the absence of starting forwards Katie Hilbig and Dymond James in their past five games, both offensively and defensively. In the first 10 games of the season, Air Force averaged 61.1 points per game, shot 37.2 percent from the field and grabbed 42.8 rebounds per contest.

Meanwhile, with Hilbig and James out of the lineup, the Falcons have averaged just 54.0 points per game and a 31.6 field goal percentage. In addition, Air Force has been outrebounded by its opponents by more than 17 rebounds per contest.

The Falcons open their Mountain West home slate on Saturday, Jan. 14, when they host conference newcomer Boise State in a 2:00 p.m. contest.



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