Feb. 4, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (11-10 overall, 3-5 Mountain West Conference) overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to earn a thrilling 52-50 victory over the New Mexico Lobos (16-5 overall, 5-3 MWC) on Wednesday night in Laramie.
"We went into tonight's game with a couple of goals, play hard for 40 minutes and really battle for the ball," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "It is so important to make a shot. It energizes the crowd and the team. We didn't shoot well in the first half, but to come out and shoot 48 percent in the second half it was a lot easier to defend or get a loose ball. Nothing was bigger than the play of Hillary and Elisabeth down at the post, plus the three-point shots by Kristen Scheffler and Emma Langford. We made some mistakes down the stretch with their pressure, but they are still young players learning how to handle the situation."
Two Cowgirls finished in double-figures in scoring led by sophomore Hillary Carlson. She recorded 16 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes of play. Emma Langford added 12 points followed by Kristen Scheffler with nine. Megan McGuffey was the leading rebounder with six. Wyoming shot 18-49 (.367) for the game including 12-25 (.480) in the second half. They were 13-17 from the free throw line and had 14 assists.
New Mexico was led by Amy Beggin with 12 points while Sara Halasz added nine. Eileen Weissmann finished with a team high eight rebounds. The Lobos were 18-50 (.360) from the field while shooting 521 (.238) from beyond the arc.
New Mexico jumped out early in the first half to an 8-2 lead. A McGuffey basket brought the Cowgirls to within four, 8-4, through the first media time-out. The Lobos scored the next two baskets to extend the lead to 12-4 as Wyoming struggled to shoot the ball. An Elisabeth Dissen field goal would end a three-minute scoring drought for the Cowgirls. UNM would hit a shot to make it 15-6 and then both teams went several minutes without scoring. A Georonika Jackson three-point shot would end the drought and put the Lobos up double-figures, 18-6. The Cowgirls tried to chip away by scoring six of nine to make it 21-12 with 6:54 on the clock. Unfortunately, New Mexico scored the next five points to go up 26-12. Wyoming would get four of the final six points in the half, but went into the lockerroom down 28-16.
In the second half, the Cowgirls scored the first six points to pull within six, 28-22, through the first media time-out. The Lobos went until the 14:21 mark with two Amanda Adamson free throws ending their scoring drought. That would start a small run to get the lead back to double-figures, 32-22. Wyoming continued to chip away at the lead and went on a 10-1 run to even it up at 33 all with 9:48 in the game. Two Weissmann free throws put New Mexico up by two, 35-33, but three straight points by the Cowgirls gave them their first lead of the game, 36-35. Another two free throws gave the Lobos a one point lead, which was answered by a Langford three-point field goal and two Carlson free throws gave them a 41-37 advantage. They would extend that lead to five, 45-40, with 1:55 remaining in the game. The Lobos would pull to within three with just over a minute to go, but a Randi Richardson lay-up made it a 48-43 game. New Mexico wouldn't go away easily as they scored the next seven of nine to even it up at 50 which included a three-point shot by Beggin with 19 seconds left in the game. With the clock winding down, a missed shot by Richardson was rebounded and put back in by Carlson to give the Cowgirls a 52-50 victory.
Wyoming will head out on the road this weekend as they take on the Utah Utes, on Sunday, February 8. The game is set to begin at 3 p.m.