Cowgirls Fall In Conference Opener

Jan. 15, 2004

Laramie, Wyoming (Jan. 15, 2004) -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (4-10 overall, 0-1 in the MWC) opened up the 2003-04 MWC season with a 57-39 loss to the Utah Utes (11-4 overall, 1-0 in the MWC) on Thursday night in Laramie.

The Utes took the early 6-0 lead from two Kelsy Stireman three point field goals to open the game, while it took the Cowgirls almost five minutes to score a basket. It continued to be a low scoring game as the two teams combined for 12 points in the first nine minutes. Then Utah go things going with eight unanswered to open up a 16-4 lead. Despite their struggles from the field, UW managed to keep it close with nine straight free throws to go in to the locker room down 25-13.

Utah's Lana Sitterud led both teams with 11 points off the bench. Ashley Elliott was the high scorer for the Cowgirls with six points, along with four rebounds. Wyoming struggled offensively shooting 2-15 (.133) from the field and 0-6 (.000) from beyond the arc. The Utes were 9-26 (.346) from the field and 4-16 (.250) from the three-point line.

After a three-point play from the Cowgirls out of the half, Utah scored nine unanswered to regain an 18 point lead, 34-16. Wyoming responded with four straight to pull within 14 unfortunately another 7-0 run gave the Utes a 41-20 advantage. Unwilling to give up, the Cowgirls scored the next 10 of 14 to close the score to 45-30, but another three-point field goal from Utah ended that run. Despite putting up a battle until the end, Wyoming couldn't overcome Utah or the deficit as they would fall 57-39.

Junior Ashley Elliott led the Cowgirls with a team high 14 points and seven rebounds. She was followed by Brenda Pickup with nine and Sara Hippen with eight points. Hippen also brought down seven rebounds. Wyoming finished 11-37 (.297) from the field and 5-16 (.313) from the three-point line.

Two Utes finished the game in double-figures, including Lana Sitterud. She recorded a team high 23 points and seven rebounds. Guard Kelsy Stireman chipped in 12 points. Utah finished 22-55 (.400) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 35-27.

"We've been struggling all season on the offensive end," said head coach Joe Legerski. "A great deal of it is confidence. One of the things we talked about is taking the first open shot, because we might not get a chance at another one especially against a team like Utah who is strong defensively. That's a problem for us, because once we get in to a half court game experience is on their side and our inexperience shows. We'll continue to work on things, but it's been a struggle on the offensive side of the ball all season."

The Cowgirls will continue their home stand by hosting the BYU Cougars, on Saturday afternoon, at 2:00 p.m.