Jan. 2, 2004
Laramie, Wyoming - The Wyoming Basketball team (3-7 overall) earned their third win of the season with a 49-38 victory over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (5-4 overall) on Friday afternoon in Laramie.
After two quick baskets from the Cowgirls, which gave them an early lead, both teams went almost three minutes without scoring. The Lumberjacks would get on the board and Wyoming would respond with an 8-4 run to take a 12-6 advantage. That margin would grow to double-digits as nine unanswered from UW and an eight minute scoring drought from NAU made the score 21-6. Unfortunately for the Cowgirls, the scoreless bug would get them as they scored only one point in the final four minutes of the half. Despite all of that, UW still took a 22-12 lead in to halftime.
Michelle Lieber and Tarah LaPar led the team with six points each, while Lieber and Ashley Elliott finished with five rebounds each. Wyoming struggled shooting only 8-28 (.286) from the field. The Lumberjacks were led by Alyssa Wahl and Lacey Tolbert both finished with four points each. NAU was 6-24 (.250) from the field and 0-7 (.000) from beyond the arc.
Northern Arizona stormed out in the second half with a 6-3 run to close the lead to five as the Cowgirls shooting woes continued. After the Lumberjacks pulled to within three, UW scored five quick points to regain a 32-24 advantage. Unwilling to go away NAU went on a 10-2 scoring run to take their first lead of the game, 38-36.
Wyoming kept their composure and put on the defensive pressure. They would out score Northern Arizona 13-0 in the final four minutes of the game to pull away with the 49-38 victory.
Three Cowgirls finished in double-digits including Michelle Lieber. She finished with ten points and ten rebounds for her second double-double in a row. Freshman Tarah LaPar led the way with 12 points followed by Brenda Pickup with ten. Despite only scoring four points, junior Ashley Elliott brought down eight rebounds plus four assists and four steals. As a team, they shot 14-51 (.275) from the field while out rebounding NAU 40-37.
The Lumberjacks were led by Lacey Tolbert, who finished with 11 points in her 37 minutes of play. Alexis Rhodes was the leading rebounder with nine. NAU was 16-52 (.308) from the field and only 2-19 (.105) from the three-point line.
"Today's game went in streaks," said head coach Joe Legerski. "We came out and had a great deal of energy in the first ten minutes. We were shooting the ball well and got up 22-8, and it seemed like we started to lose the momentum towards the end of the first half. You knew Northern Arizona was going to fight back. For us to have Ashley Elliott struggle from the field, I was very pleased with the effort the kids gave today.
"We talked with about four minutes left in the game and we were down 38-36 that we had to find ways defensively to make a stand. Brenda (Pickup) made two great plays towards the end of the game that really helped us win.
"I can't talk enough about Michelle Lieber's effort today. After the Colorado, we sat down and talked with her about shooting the ball more, and the last two games she's come away with double-doubles."
The Cowgirls will now host the Navy Midshipmen, on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., before heading out on the road against Weber State on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.