Cowgirls Hold Home Court, Whip Lobos 78-55

Feb. 17, 2010


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The Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Team (16-8 overall, 7-5 Mountain West Conference) continued to play tough at home as they earned a 23-point win, 78-55, over the New Mexico Lobos (14-10 overall, 6-6 MWC) on Wednesday night in Laramie.

"I really thought Hillary got us off to a great start tonight," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "We need her to take shots that are open and she did a good job of that. Also, I thought Leah Fitzgerald gave us valuable minutes when Hillary got into foul trouble. We sat her the last seven minutes of the half to protect her. The zone also helped us out to make sure anytime the ball was put on the floor, we could get people to the basketball. We funneled everything towards Hillary and slowed the pace down in the half court even though we wanted to transition off rebounds.

"New Mexico did a tremendous job tonight on the offensive boards. That was a concern going in and to give up 19 for the game, it was something we addressed at halftime. More importantly we talked about moving on the offensive side of the ball. In the first half, Aubrey, Emma and Hillary, combined for 30 of our 36 points. We need people besides those three to step up and score and I thought Jade Kennedy did in the second half, and made some big shots. Also, Randi Richardson was tremendous distributing the basketball and keeping the energy level high."

Four out of the five Cowgirl starters scored in double-figures for the night led by Hillary Carlson. She recorded a team high 23 points and four blocked shots, while bringing down seven rebounds. She was followed by Aubrey Vandiver with 15 points and eight boards, while Jade Kennedy and Emma Langford added 14 and 13 points respectively. Wyoming shot 28-55 (.509) from the field and 11-19 (.579) from beyond the arc.

New Mexico was led by Georonika Jackson with 14 points and three rebounds, while Sara Halasz chipped in 10 points and five boards in her effort. The leading rebounder for the Lobos was Jessica Kielpinski with six. UNM shot 20-72 (.278) from the field and 8-28 (.286) from beyond the arc.

The Cowgirls got off to a great start as they took an early 7-0 lead to start the game. New Mexico would get on the board at the 17:28 mark with an Amanda Best lay-up. Wyoming would answer with a 7-2 run to build a double-figure lead, 14-4. The Lobos chipped into that lead by scoring eight of ten to pull within four, 16-12, but five quick points by UW extended it back to nine, 21-12. After a Nikki Nelson three-point field goal, five points from Hillary Carlson would make the lead 26-15 with just under ten minutes in the half. New Mexico made a small 5-3 run to get the score to 29-20 and then inched closer with two more baskets which made it 31-25. A three point field goal by Emma Langford would end the Lobos run and put the Cowgirls head 34-25. Despite being out scored in the remaining minutes of the half, Wyoming would take a 36-30 lead into the lockerroom.

Right out of the break, the Cowgirls scored another seven straight points to increase their lead to 13, 43-40. The Lobos went almost four minutes before a Georonika Jackson three-point field goal ended the drought. After the first media timeout, Wyoming would go on a 12-3 run to gain a 55-36 advantage with 12:57 on the clock. New Mexico continued to struggle offensively going another seven minutes without scoring. With the score 60-38 in favor of Wyoming, the Lobos scored 8 of the next 13 points to pull within 17, 65-48. Three three-point field goals by Jade Kennedy and Kristen Scheffler put the Cowgirls back up 74-48. Each team would score a couple of baskets down the stretch as the Cowgirls went on to the 78-55 victory.

The Cowgirls wrap up the week on the road as they take on the BYU Cougars, on Saturday, Feb. 20. The game is set to tip off at 2 p.m. in Provo.