Wyoming Basketball Battles With Utah To a 59-50 Victory

Feb. 16, 2011


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The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (19-6 overall, 9-3 MWC) gutted out a 59-50 victory over the Utah Utes (12-14 overall, 5-7 MWC) on Wednesday night in Laramie.

Three Cowgirls finished the night in double figures led by senior Aubrey Vandiver. She recorded her tenth double-double of the season with 12 points and ten rebounds. Hillary Carlson and Jade Kennedy each finished with 13 points, while Bec Campigli added nine in a 26 minute effort. Carlson also recorded a season high six assists. Wyoming was 16-41 (.390) from the field and 20-21 (.952) from the free throw line.

Utah was led by Iwalani Rodrigues who finished with a game high 21 points. She was followed by two players with eight points, while Michelle Harrison recorded a game high 11 rebounds. The Utes were 19-55 (.345) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 35-29.

"That was a conference basketball game," said head coach Joe Legerski. "It was a gutty effort by the young women on this team. Every possession was difficult. It was tough to move, shots were hard to find and yet we needed everyone tonight. We talked about at halftime that we can win as a team, and when we play that way it doesn't matter if someone is having an off night, someone can pick us up. Jade Kennedy was big tonight and hit a three-point field goal late in the game. Ashley Sickles did a nice job in the first half. Rebecca Campigli did a great job, when Chaundra got in foul trouble. She came in and gave us more quickness, stepped to the free throw line and knocked them down, which was important. We kept that four to five point lead and defensively we did a good job."

Each team hit baskets in the early part of the game, but Utah ran off five straight to go up 7-2. Aubrey Vandiver hit a layup to make it 7-4 through the first media timeout. Janita Badon hit a basket out of the break to make it a five point game, 9-4, while the Cowgirls went three minutes without scoring. Two free throws by Chaundra Sewell ended the drought and a three-point field goal by Jade Kennedy tied it up at nine. Both teams went several minutes without scoring until each hit a basket and a couple of free throws to continue to be tied up 13. With the Utes up 15-13, Wyoming went on a 7-0 run to take a 20-15 advantage. They increased it to seven, 23-16, with a three-point field goal by Ashley Sickles, but Utah responded with seven straight to pull even at 23. The Cowgirls answered with the final five points in the half to take a 28-23 lead into the lockerroom.

Utah closed the game to one, 28-27, out of the break with four straight points. Hillary Carlson would hit a three-point field goal to get the Cowgirls on the board, but Iwalani Rodrigues answered with the same. Two free throws and a field goal by Wyoming gave them a five point lead, 35-30, heading into the first media timeout. The Utes went on a 5-2 run to narrow the gap to two, 37-35. Five points by the Cowgirls extended the lead back to seven, 42-35. Over the next several minutes, the teams played even as Wyoming continued to lead. With the score 46-39, UW increased the lead to nine, 50-41, but two baskets by Utah made it 50-45. With the shot clock winding down, Jade Kennedy hit a three-point field goal, which was quickly answered with a three-point shot by Iwalani Rodrigues with three minutes left in the game. Neither team scored until two free throws by Bec Campigli with 38 seconds left in the game. She would score the final four of six points to help seal the 59-50 victory for the Cowgirls.

The Cowgirls will return to action next week as they travel to Colorado Springs to face the Air Force Academy Falcons. The game is Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 7:00 p.m.