Feb. 1, 2003
Laramie, Wyo. - In a thrilling overtime victory, the Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Team (13-5 overall, 3-2 MWC) defeated the Colorado State Rams (11-8 overall, 2-3 MWC) by the final of 69-64, on Saturday afternoon in Laramie. It was the first time in 12 meetings and since Feb. 6, 1997 that the Cowgirls had defeated the Rams.
The Rams struck first with a three-point shot from Katie Borton, but then both teams went cold going almost four minutes without a basket. CSU would hit a basket to go up 5-0, but after almost five minutes the Cowgirls scored the next five straight to tie it up. Colorado State regained the lead shortly after that, but a very determined Wyoming team continued to hang around. With CSU up 13-12, the Rams went on a 6-0 scoring run to open up a 19-12 lead. Never willing to give up, UW answered with a 10-2 run to take their first lead of the game, 22-21. Both teams turned up the defense in the final couple of minutes to go into halftime tied up at 27.
The Cowgirls opened up the second half strong scoring the first seven of nine points to open up a 34-29 advantage, but a quick three-point shot by the Rams pulled them to within two points. An 8-0 run by Wyoming and a three minute scoring drought by the CSU allowed the Cowgirls to take another double-digit lead, 42-32. Down 13 points, the Rams continued to battle as they went on a 15-2 to not only cut into the Cowgirl lead but tied it up at 49 all. From that point on it looked as though momentum had shifted the Rams way, as they would take a 57-53 lead with two minutes remaining in the game. It was the Cowgirls time to battle as a two-point basket and a couple of free throws by Carrie Bacon would even things up at 57. A basket by Lindsay Thomas with one minute remaining put CSU on top but an Ashley Elliott two-pointer under a minute to go tied it up and the two teams were headed to overtime.
Elliott kept her hot shooting going into the overtime, as she opened it up with a three-point bucket to give the Cowgirls the lead, 62-59. A basket and a free throw tied things up at 62, but that would be as close as the Rams could get. Wyoming never trailed in the overtime and led by as many as four points. The game was finally wrapped up by Ashley Elliott hitting two free throws, as the Cowgirls went on to the victory 69-64.
"This is obviously a huge win for us tonight," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "Sometimes I'm not sure if the rest of the team realizes what this rivalry means, as much as Carrie and I and Heather Shaffner and others that have been around, and obviously it doesn't matter what sport the border war is huge. Just for our ladies, they've been working so hard, come to practice and try to get better every day, so to come away with this victory it was a great job on their part."
"Big games Ashley Elliott really does show up and some of her best games have been against CU, Texas Tech and CSU," added Fisher. "I really think she felt that Carrie and Ann were struggling, and she just took it upon her shoulders and really stepped it up. She was relaxed, played with confidence and got the shots when we needed them."
Leading all scorers in the game was sophomore Ashley Elliott, as she finished with a career high 24 points. She was 8-14 from the field, 4-8 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. She kept the Cowgirls in the game scoring seven of the Cowgirls ten points in the overtime in her 38 minutes of play. After not scoring in the first half, senior Carrie Bacon finished the night with 13 points and a team high eight rebounds. As a team, the Cowgirls were 25-51 (.490) from the field and outrebounded the Rams 40-32.
For CSU, Katie Borton was the high scorer and rebounder with 15 points and five rebounds. Lindsay Thomas also chipped in 11 points and four boards. The Rams shot 22-63 (349) from the field.
Up next for the Cowgirls will be continuing conference play on the road. They will face the UNLV Rebels, on Thursday night at 8:35 p.m. MT, in Las Vegas, and then the San Diego State Aztecs, Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. MT, in San Diego.