Jan. 24, 2009
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -
Behind a double-double from sophomore Hillary Carlson, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (9-9 overall, 1-4 Mountain West Conference) earned their first conference victory of the season, 64-61, over the Colorado State Rams (7-12 overall, 2-4 MWC), on Saturday afternoon in Ft. Collins.
"To get our first conference victory was as difficult as we could make it," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "To shoot 50 percent from free throw line in second half, really showed we lost our focus, but we hung in their and found a way to win. The play of Emma (Langford) and Jade (Kennedy) off the bench was instrumental in the win. Even though her stat line will show no points, Randi's (Richardson) play defensively was a huge key as well."
Three Cowgirls finished the game in double-figures and two players with double-doubles. Hillary Carlson recorded her second straight double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds. Emma Langford scored 18 points, whileJade Kennedy added 11 points and a career high 11 rebounds. Wyoming shot 20-53 (.377) from the field, 7-22 (.318) from beyond the arc and 17-32 (.531) from the free throw line.
Colorado State was led by Juanise Cornell who finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Britney Minor had 21 points, while Amaka Uzomah had a game high 16 rebounds. The Rams were 21-71 (.296) from the field, while out rebounding Wyoming 54-42.
Megan McGuffey scored the first basket of the game for the Cowgirls but Colorado State responded with a six straight points to take a 6-2 advantage. Wyoming came right back with a 6-0 run to regain an 8-6 lead, which they extended to 13-7. A three-point play by Minor pulled the Rams to within three, 13-10, which was answered with four points by the Cowgirls to make it 17-10 with 11 minutes in the half. Over the next five minutes, Wyoming scored 10 of the next 13 points to increase the lead to double-figures, 27-13. During that time, they would hold Rams to just three free throws as CSU went six minutes before scoring a field goal. The Cowgirls would continue to play strong on the offensive end as they went on another 11-4 run which gave them a 38-17 lead with a little over three minutes left in the half. Colorado State clamped down and scored the final eight points of the half but Wyoming still took a 38-25 lead into the lockerroom.
Through the first media timeout of the second half the scoring was fairly even as the Rams made a small dent, 42-31. Both teams continued to struggle scoring as the Cowgirls went three minutes before a Kennedy free throw ended the drought. That would start a small run to give UW a 47-33 lead with 11:53 left on clock. The Rams would answer with the next four points to pull within ten, 47-37, which Wyoming responded by scoring six of the next nine to give them a 53-40 advantage. The scoring was even over the next several minutes until an 8-1 run by Colorado State brought them to within seven, 59-52, with two minutes left in the game. Kim Mestdagh would hit a three-point shot and two free throws by Kandy Beemer made it a one possession game, 59-57, with under a minute to go. Langford would hit one of two free throws to put the Cowgirls up by three, 60-57, but next time down the court Zoi Simmons made a layup with 18 seconds to go. Two free throws from Kennedy once again gave UW the three point lead, which was answered by a Cornell basket to make it 62-61. Langford hit a couple of free throws in the final second of the game to help the Cowgirls pull out the 64-61 victory.
Wyoming will continue play on the road next week as they travel to Colorado Springs to face the Air Force Academy Falcons, on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.