Jan. 17, 2004
Laramie, Wyoming (Jan. 17, 2004) -- Head Coach Joe Legerski and the Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Team (5-10 overall, 1-1 in the MWC) earned their first Mountain West Conference win of the season with a 57-50 victory over the BYU Cougars (10-6 overall, 0-2 in the MWC) on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams struggled out of the gate as it took four minutes for either one to score. It continued to be an offensive struggle until the Cowgirls finally took the early 6-3 lead. After a BYU basket pulled them to within one, Wyoming went on an 8-2 run to open up a 14-7 advantage. The Cougars responded by scoring the next six of eight to make the score 16-13, but a Brenda Pickup layup ended the streak. A three-point play by BYU's Ambrosia Anderson brought the Cougars to within two, 18-16, but a very composed Cowgirl team closed out the half with a
13-2 run in the final four minutes to take a 31-18 lead in to the locker room.
Guard Brenda Pickup led all scorers in the half with ten, while bringing down four rebounds. Junior Ashley Elliott also had four rebounds, along with seven points. The Cowgirls shot 9-23 (.391) from the field, but struggled from beyond the arc going 0-10 (.000).
BYU was led by Jennie Overdiek with four points and four rebounds. The Cougars were 8-28 (.286) from the field and out rebounded by Wyoming 20-17.
In the second half, it was a matter of how many runs each team could go on and how big they were going to be.
The Cowgirls seemed to pick up where they left off by scoring the first seven of eleven points to open up their largest lead of the game 38-22. Then it was the Cougars turn as they responded with an 11-2 run to pull within seven, 40-33, which was eventually ended by a Tarah Lapar three-point shot. There was no giving up for BYU as they battled back by outscoring the Cowgirls 11-5 to cut the lead to three, 47-44. Wyoming answered right back with six straight points of their own to regain a nine point lead, 53-44. With time running down, two three-point field goals from the Cougars Ambrosia Anderson kept BYU in the game bringing them to within three points, 53-50. It was the Cowgirls that kept their cool as they knocked down four free throws in the remaining 30 seconds to come away with the 57-50 victory.
Three Cowgirls finished the game in double-figures, including Ashley Elliott. She recorded a team high 16 points and five rebounds in 40 minutes of play. Senior Brenda Pickup finished with 14 points and six rebounds followed by Kristen Lenhardt with ten points and a team leading eight rebounds. Wyoming finished the game shooting 17-53 (.321) from the field and 21-25 (.840) from the charity stripe, but a dismal 2-23 (.087) from the three-point line.
Julie Sullivan led the Cougars in scoring with 14 points followed by Ambrosia Anderson with 12. The leading rebounder for the Cougars was Jennie Overdiek with seven, along with chipping in nine points. BYU finished the game shooting 17-54 (.315) fro the field and 12-17 (.706) from the free throw line.
"I'm very happy with our effort," said head coach Joe Legerski. "You look at things and we always talk about how hard we play, and I keep telling the kids bottom line is we have to come up with some wins. Today, we came up with a victory, and I couldn't be more pleased for this group. It was a game that we jumped out early, but we had to make some plays down at the end and that's how you grow as a group. I challenged Tarah (LaPar) and she hit a big three-point shot, and Brenda (Pickup) makes her free throws at the end of the game. We talked all along that we feel like we can defend, but we have to be able to score points and that what happened tonight. We're a happy bunch right now."
Wyoming will now hit the road for two MWC games. They will face the San Diego State Aztecs, on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. MT, in San Diego and the UNLV Rebels, on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. MT, in Las Vegas.