Cowgirls Wrap Up Weekend With Victory

Feb. 21, 2004

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Laramie, Wyoming-- The Wyoming basketball team (9-15 overall, 5-6 in the MWC) closed out their weekend with an overpowering 71-46 win over the San Diego State Aztecs (7-16 overall, 2-8 in the MWC) on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.

After a San Diego State basket about a minute into the game gave them an early lead, the Cowgirls answered with eleven straight points including nine from junior Ashley Elliott. That lead would grow even larger as a 10-3 run from UW made the score 21-5, while the Aztecs went several minutes without a field goal. In fact, San Diego State couldn't manage to break double-digits until the 5:52 mark in the first half as the Cowgirls continued to score at will. With the score 32-11 in favor of UW, SDSU made a push to close out the half by outscoring Wyoming 11-7 but still went into the locker room down 39-22.

Guard Ashley Elliott led all scorers and rebounders in the half with 18 points and seven rebounds. She was 6-13 from the field and 5-7 from beyond the arc. Michelle Lieber also managed double-digits with ten along with five rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 14-28 (.500) from the field and 8-13 (.615) from the three-point line.

The Aztecs Courtney Fritz recorded six points followed by Candace Mattson with five. San Diego State struggled offensively shooting on 7-26 (.269) from the field.

It was the Aztecs who came out of halftime with the hot hand as they opened up with a 10-6 run to pull within 13 points, 45-32, but the Cowgirls kept their composure and scored the next 14 of 16 to increase their lead to 59-38 with nine minutes remaining in the game. They would follow up that run with ten straight points until a Candace Mattson three-point play ended an eight minute scoring drought for the Aztecs to make the score 69-41. In the end, Wyoming was just to dominating as they came away with the 71-46 victory.

"We've had a tough stretch here recently with the tough teams in this league because it's a battle every night," said head coach Joe Legerski. "This was a game that we had to come out, play well, win and get things changed around. The kids responded right out of the gate along with Ashley Elliott who got us started from the beginning. When Ashley comes out and gets going that is a huge key for us. She can shoot the basketball, drive the basketball and has all the skills to be able to play.

"We knew coming in at the beginning of the season that we had a solid backcourt. Brenda and Ashley have been through the battles and we've asked them to step up night in and night out. Ashley has 28 points and ten rebounds, Brenda finishes with 15 points, seven assists and three steals, you couldn't asked for anything more than what we received tonight from each of them. I couldn't be more pleased with the effort they gave tonight."

Three Cowgirls finished the game in double-digits, including junior Ashley Elliott. She finished the game with 28 points and ten rebounds, which was her first double-double of her career, while shooting 9-23 from the field and 7-13 from beyond the arc. In her final home game of her career, senior Brenda Pickup scored all 15 of her points in the second half, while adding eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Freshman Michelle Lieber finished with ten points and six rebounds in her 31 minutes of play. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 24-52 (.462) from the field and a season high 13-25 (.520) from the field.

San Diego State was led by Candace Mattson who finished with a team high 14 points and six rebounds off the bench. Michelle Strawberry also chipped in 12 points for the game. The Aztecs struggled offensively shooting 17-57 (.298) from the field and 3-16 (.188) from beyond the arc.

The Cowgirls will hit the road this week with a single game against the CSU Rams, on Friday night at 7:00 p.m., in Ft. Collins.