Feb. 15, 2003
Laramie, Wyo. - The Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Team (15-7 overall, 5-4 MWC) lost a disappointing game to the Utah Utes (17-4 overall, 7-1 MWC) by the final of 70-59, on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.
Wyoming would open up the game with the first two points, but the Utes answered with an 8-2 run to gain an 8-4 lead. Utah maintained a three to four point lead for the next several minutes, but the Cowgirls continued to battle going on a 7-2 scoring run to tie it up at 15 all. Both teams struggled offensively after that as each combined for just eight points over a three minute period. Finally at the four minute mark, a layup by Cherrith Young put the Cowgirls up 21-19. Shortly after the Utes regained the lead 23-22 and closed out the half with a 6-3 run to take a 29-25 lead into halftime.
Carrie Bacon led all Cowgirl scorers with six followed by Ashley Elliott and Ann McColl with five. Wyoming as a team shot 39.1% (9-23) from the field. Kim Smith led the way in scoring at the half for Utah with eight points, while Carley Marshall recorded four rebounds. The Utes shot 47.6% (10-21) from the field and outrebounded the Cowgirls 16-10.
It was an offensive struggle for the Cowgirls to start the second half as they went almost four minutes before scoring a basket. The Utes hit a couple of baskets to take a six point advantage 33-27, which grew to 39-29 after another run by Utah. Free throws kept the Cowgirls in it along with a 13-0 scoring run which allowed them to take a lead for the first time since the opening tip 42-39. Not willing to give up, Utah, down 48-45, went on a 13-2 scoring run of their own to regain a 58-50 lead. Despite a good effort at the end, the Cowgirls struggled to score in the final minutes of the game as the Utes went on to take the 70-59 victory.
"Kim Smith is really a big time player and we had a hard time defending her," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "I thought the girls and our defense did a nice job of getting back into the game, but it just wasn't enough tonight. I felt a big difference tonight was that they were the aggressors, going hard to the glass and making it very difficult for us to get anything done. We didn't have the aggressiveness as we had against BYU, but you have to give Utah credit they're one of the top teams defensively in shutting down some of our key players."
Kim Smith of Utah led all scorers with 28, while for the Cowgirls forward Carrie Bacon was tops with 18 points. She also finished with a team leading six rebounds and six assists. Senior Ann McColl also finished in double-figures with 13, followed by Ashley Elliott with eight and Cherrith Young with six. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 20-47 (.426) from the field and 16-18 (.889) from the charity stripe. The Utes shot 20-41 (.488) from the field and an almost perfect 26-27 (.963) from the free throw line.
Up next, the Cowgirls will hit the road for a couple of conference games. They will travel to Albuquerque to face the New Mexico Lobos, on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. and then to Colorado Springs against the Air Force Academy Falcons, on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.