Jan. 21, 2005
Laramie, Wyoming - The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (11-5 overall, 2-1 in the MWC) earned a 46-43 comeback victory over the UNLV Lady Rebels (9-7 overall, 0-2 in the MWC) on Thursday night in Laramie.
Two Cowgirls finished the game in double-digits, including senior Ashley Elliott. She finished the night with 13 points, two assists and two steals in 40 minutes of play. Forward Hanna Zavecz also finished her night with 13 points and five rebounds. Erin Hicks led the way with seven rebounds, while chipping in nine points. Wyoming was 14-45 (.311) from the field and created 11 steals.
UNLV was led by RanDee Henry who finished with ten points and 15 rebounds. Sheena Moore finished her night with 12 points, while Nikki Hitchens brought down 11 rebounds. The Lady Rebels shot 18-50 (.360) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 39-28, but committed 22 turnovers.
UNLV jumped out with a couple of baskets early to take a 4-0 lead, while the Cowgirls went almost three minutes before scoring. The Lady Rebels increased their lead with a small run, but UW came back and pulled to within one, 10-9. Four straight points gave UNLV a five-point advantage as the Cowgirls scoring slump continued until an Ashley Elliott three-point field broke the drought with seven minutes left to go in the half. It continued to be a struggle on the offensive end for Wyoming as they were out scored 12-7 the remainder of the half, and UNLV took a 26-19 lead in to the locker room.
Cowgirl senior Ashley Elliott led all scorers in the first half with 11, while RanDee Henry had eight points and eight rebounds to lead the way for the Lady Rebels. Wyoming shot 8-23 (.348) from the field and 3-12 (.250) from beyond the arc. UNLV was 12-24 (.500) from the field, but turned the ball over 11 times.
Right out of the halftime break, the Lady Rebel lead would grow to double-digits, 29-19, at the 18:57 mark. The Cowgirls scored a four unanswered to pull within six, and then both teams went cold with neither team able to make a shot. Finally at the 11:55 mark, a three-point field goal by Hanna Zavecz broke a four minute scoring drought by both teams. In fact, the Lady Rebels wouldn't score until 10:58 which helped them maintain a five point lead 31-26. Despite missing several easy shots, Wyoming kept their composure and clawed their way back into the game behind two field goals and seven free throws to take their first lead of the game, 37-35. The Cowgirls increased their lead to five points, while UNLV seemed to hit a wall as they wouldn't score another basket until the 1:11 mark. It was a long final minute, but with 13 seconds left the Cowgirls went up 46-40. The Lady Rebels continued to battle, but a last second three-point shot wouldn't be enough as Wyoming went on to the 46-43 victory.
"We really hung in there tonight. There was a stretch where we had things going defensively, but we couldn't convert the easy shots," said head coach Joe Legerski. "That's a really discouraging part of the game when you have those types of shots to go down and struggling on the offensive end.
"I feel we play hard every night, but some we don't come quite as focused as we need to be," he added. "Unfortunately when you come out that way it affects you on the offensive end of the court. I give credit to our team, they hung in there defensively, had to grind it out to make a play and we made enough in the end to come away with a win."
The Cowgirls will warp up the weekend as they host the San Diego State Aztecs, on Saturday afternoon, beginning at 2:00 p.m.