Wyoming Basketball Earns Tough Win Over Aztecs, 59-51

Jan. 29, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (16-4 overall, 6-1 MWC) won their fourth straight conference game with an eight point victory, 59-51, over the San Diego State Aztecs (8-11 overall, 2-5 MWC) on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.

Four Cowgirls finished the game in double-digits led by senior Aubrey Vandiver. She recorded a double-double with 20 points and ten rebounds, while adding four assists and two steals. She was followed by Hillary Carlson with 16 points and seven boards, while Chaundra Sewell and Jade Kennedy chipped in 11 and 10 points respectively. Wyoming shot .383 (18-47) from the field, 6-15 (.400) from beyond the arc and 17-28 (.607) from the free throw line.

San Diego State was led by Courtney Clements who had a team high 16 points, while adding five rebounds and three steals. Jessika Bradley had a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards, and Paris Johnson finished with ten points. The Aztecs shot 19-56 (.339) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 40-37.

"We knew going in that this was going to be a 40 minute game, possession by possession and we had to do a good job on the defensive glass," said head coach Joe Legerski. "San Diego State had the edge in the first half and it was close in the second half as well, which we gave ourselves an opportunity. We changed things up defensively with playing zone, because they are a difficult team for us to match up with. We needed to pull out all the stops. Aubrey (Vandiver) bounced back from her game in Vegas, finishing with a double-double. More importantly, we had four players in double-figures. Jade hit a big three-point shot down the stretch. It was a big effort by everyone, including a great defensive effort by Randi Richardson."

Wyoming started off by taking an early 6-0 lead. The Aztecs would get on the board with a basket from Sajoyia Griffin about two and a half minutes into the game. That would begin a 7-3 run for San Diego State to pull them to within two, 9-7. An Aubrey Vandiver three-point field goal gave the Cowgirls a 12-7 lead through the first media timeout. Out of the break, Wyoming went on a 7-0 run to extend the lead to double-figures, 19-7. Jessika Bradley hit a shot for SDSU which ended an almost four minute scoring drought. Both teams went several minutes without scoring until the Aztecs scored five of seven to make it a seven point game, 21-14. After an Aubrey Vandiver basket, 11 straight points by San Diego State gave them their first lead of the game, 25-23. Two baskets by Chaundra Sewell and another three-point shot by Aubrey Vandiver helped the Cowgirls regain a five point lead, 30-25, with under four minutes in the half. The two teams combined for 11 points the rest of the way as Wyoming took a 36-30 lead into the lockerroom.

It was a struggle for the Cowgirls out of the halftime break as they didn't score in the first five minutes. San Diego State hit two baskets to pull within two, 36-34. Two Hillary Carlson free throws finally ended the scoring drought for Wyoming. It wasn't until the 12:24 mark they would hit a field goal, and it was answered with a Courtney Clements three-point field goal to make it 41-38. Over the next four minute stretch neither team really got in a flow as the Cowgirls continued to hold on to a 45-40 lead. After a couple of free throws by the Aztecs closed the gap to three, 45-42, a three-point basket by Hillary Carlson put them back up six, 48-42. San Diego State continued to chip away at the Wyoming lead to make it a six point game, 50-44 with 3:16 left in the game, but a huge three-point shot by Jade Kennedy gave Wyoming a 53-44 advantage. The Aztecs Paris Johnson responded with a basket of her own to cut into the lead again, but right after that would commit her fifth foul. Free throws and a big steal by senior Randi Richardson would help the Cowgirls hold on to the 59-51 win.

The Cowgirls will wrap up the first part of MWC play next week as they travel to Utah. They will face the BYU Cougars, on Wednesday, Feb. 2.