Jan. 23, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Behind four players in double-figures, the Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball team (11-5 overall, 1-2 MWC) earned their first conference win with a dominating 68-53 victory over the Air Force Academy Falcons (6-9 overall, 0-2 MWC), on Thursday night in Laramie.
The Cowgirls jumped out quickly to start the game by taking a 9-2 lead. Air Force hit a three-point shot to close within four, but Ashley Elliott answered back with a shot of her own to regain a seven point advantage. A five minute scoring drought by the Falcons helped the Cowgirls increase and maintain their lead. With the score 21-11 in favor of Wyoming, Air Force would cut into the lead with a 6-0 run to pull within four points, but the Cowgirls responded with six straight to regain a double-digit lead, 27-17. Both team struggled in the final minutes of the half, but the Cowgirls still took a 31-19 lead into halftime.
Leading all scorers were Darci Arsene and Carrie Bacon with eight, while Chassie Wiersma brought down five rebounds. Air Force's Shawna Neff was their leading scorer and rebounder with five points and three rebounds. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 11-24 (.458) from the field compared to 7-29 (.241) shooting by the Falcons.
Air Force opened up the second half by hitting a three-point field goal, but the Cowgirls managed to maintain a significant lead. A small run by the Falcons brought them to within six points, but UW scored the next 11 of 14 points to open up another double-digit lead, 48-34. After that both teams went almost three minutes without a basket until a free throw by Carrie Bacon. Up 49-41, the Cowgirls went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-point lead. Despite the Falcons continuing to battle to the very end of the game, Wyoming would go on to win their first conference game of the season, 68-53.
"I was really proud of our team tonight," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "Air Force is a team that really battles us every year and it's probably one of the toughest conference games we play. I was pleased how the team came out focused, and the first five minutes really set the tone for this game, and it went from there. For Ann McColl to sit most of the first half, we really had some good contributions from everyone that played tonight and it was just a great team win."
Senior Carrie Bacon led all Cowgirl scorers with 15 points, along with a team high seven rebounds. Both Brenda Pickup and Darci Arsene chipped in 13 points, while Ann McColl finished with ten. Wyoming shot 22-56 (.393) from the field and 20-27 (.741) from the charity stripe, plus outrebounded the Falcons 45-32.
Two players, LaToya Howell and Shawna Neff, finished with a team high 16 points, while the leading rebounder was Briana Thomas with seven. Air Force shot 18-54 (.333) from the field, but committed 20 turnovers.
The Cowgirls will continue conference play by hosting the New Mexico Lobos, on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., in the Arena Auditorium.