Jan. 25, 2014
RENO, Nev. -
Despite overcoming an 11-point second half deficit, the Wyoming basketball team came up short in a 72-69 loss to the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday afternoon in Reno. The Cowgirls are now 12-5 overall on the season and 3-3 in the Mountain West while Nevada improves to 9-9 overall and 4-3 in league play.
"We talked about that prior to the game that we just need to give ourselves a chance in the final four minutes," said head coach Joe Legerski. "We showed a lot of determination and got off to a great start. Nevada went on a run, got up by double-digits and we fought back to close the gap at halftime. In the second half, we fell behind by 11 and battled our way back again. I thought we executed down the stretch exactly how we wanted to. Chelan (Landry) did what we asked of her, converted at the basket, followed up with some rebounds and put them on the foul line to keep us in the game. We had the shot we wanted at the end of the game, it just didn't go down. I think that's all you can ask for as a coach."
After trailing by one at the break, Wyoming hit a three-point field goal to tie it up at 36 with 17:49 left in the game. The two teams would trade scores but the Wolf Pack ran off ten straight points to make it 48-38, while the Cowgirls struggled from the field. Kaylie Rader scored a basket to end a five minute scoring drought for UW to close the gap to eight, 48-40. Nevada extended the lead back to 11, 53-42, which was answered with six straight by Fallon Lewis to make it a five point contest, 53-46. Free throws by Mimi Mungedi pushed the lead back to seven, 55-48. Wyoming battled their way back into it and two free throws by Jordan Sibrel capping off an 11-2 run to give the Cowgirls a 59-56 lead with 4:18 left in the game. A three-point play by Terilyn Moe tied it up at 59 all. It was a battle in final four minutes of the game. Free throws by the Wolf Pack put them up by two, 61-59. One of two by Lewis made it a one point contest, 61-60. It went back and forth until Nevada gained a four-point advantage, 67-63, with 35 seconds remaining. The Cowgirls continued to battle and with six seconds left in the game had two looks at the basket unfortunately they would fall short 72-69.
Kaitlyn Mileto recorded a game high 25 points while adding six rebounds in her effort on the night. She was 7-14 from the field and 6-9 from beyond the arc. Lewis finished with her seventh double-double of the year with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Wyoming shot 21-62 (.339) from the field and 19-28 (.679) from the free throw line. The Cowgirls out rebounded the Wolf Pack, 47-36, and had 16 second chance points.
"Fallon battled all night long and almost had a double-double at halftime with 22 points and 15 rebounds. I thought that's what really got us back into the game, offensive rebounding and timely shooting. She showed a lot of determination and mental toughness, which is what we've been asking out of this whole team."
Nevada was led by Moe with 17 points and four assists, while Danika Sharp chipped in 16 points and five rebounds. Mimi Mungedi was the third player in double-figures for the Wolf Pack with 11 points and a team high six rebounds. Nevada was 23-57 (.404) from the field and 23-29 (.793) from the free throw line.
It was fast paced between both teams through the first media timeout as both teams went 5-7 from the field while the Cowgirls held a 12-11 lead. Lewis and Mileto each had six points for Wyoming early. Out of the break, Arielle Wideman completed the three-point play to tie it up and started a 10-0 run by the Wolf Pack to make it 22-12 with 11:39 on the clock. The Cowgirls went cold going 0-7 from the field and almost seven minutes before a free throw by Mileto ended the scoreless drought. Lewis hit a basket that got a 10-2 run going for Wyoming to close the gap to one, 24-23. Sharp scored the next points to give Nevada a three-point field lead, 26-23. UW battled their way back into it with a free throw by Landry giving the Cowgirls a 33-32 lead. A basket by Amber Smith at the buzzer put the Wolf Pack up by one, 34-33, at the half.
Mileto led all scorers in the first half with 15 followed by Lewis with 12. Lewis finished with nine rebounds. The Cowgirls were 10-31 (.323) from the field, 4-10 (.400) from the three-point line and 9-13 (.692) from the free throw line.
The Cowgirls return home next Wednesday, Jan. 29, as they host the Fresno State Bulldogs. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.