Cowgirls Lose Heartbreaker To Rams, 60-49

Feb. 27, 2004

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Ft. Collins, Colo. - The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (9-16 overall, 5-7 in the MWC) suffered a disappointing 60-49 loss to the Colorado State Rams (16-9 overall, 7-5 in the MWC) on Friday night in Ft. Collins.

It was all Cowgirls through the five minutes of the half as they held the Rams to one point by taking an early 10-1 advantage with eight of those points coming from Ashley Elliott. In fact, the Rams went over six minutes without scoring until two Marilyn Moulton free throws broke that streak. A Vanessa Espinoza jumper brought Colorado State to within five, 10-5, but Wyoming answered with a 15-3 run to take their largest lead of the half 25-8. Then it was the Rams turn to respond by scoring the next nine of twelve to finally break into double digits and make the score 28-15, but an Ashley Elliott three-point field goal ended that run. In the closing minutes of the half, the Rams continued to battle by scoring the final seven points to go into the locker room only down six, 31-25.

Junior Ashley Elliott led all scorers in the half with thirteen followed by Michelle Lieber with eight and Kristen Lenhardt. Lieber led the way with seven rebounds. As a team, the Cowgirls were 11-25 (.440) from the field and 5-11 (.455) from beyond the arc.

CSU was led by Joy Jenkins who recorded 11 points, while Melissa Dennett and Kylee O'Dwyer finished with a team high four rebounds. The Rams were 9-27 from the field (.333).

The Rams scored the first four of six out of the break to pull within four, 33-29. Wyoming responded with a 7-3 run to make their lead eight, but CSU quickly came back with eight straight points to even things up at 40 all. Free throws from Ashley Elliott gave the Cowgirls the lead back yet again Colorado State would tie the score again at 45 and the battle was on. With about five minutes left in the game, the momentum seemed to shift the Rams way as they opened up a 56-48 advantage, while Wyoming started to struggle on the offensive end going almost four minutes with scoring. Unfortunately, a very tired Cowgirl team, who only played six individuals, couldn't overcome the deficit and would fall to the Rams by the final of 60-49,

"I think fatigue started to be a problem towards the end and the first thing it affected was our shooting," UW coach Joe Legerski said. "We shot the ball extremely well in the first half, but we got wore down at the end."

"We knew (Jenkins) would pose problems for us," Legerski said. "Without Sara Hippen in there, we had to guard her with 5-8 freshman Tarah Lapar as a freshman. We just ran out of options."

Two Cowgirls finished in double-figures, including Michelle Lieber. She recorded her fourth double-double of the season by scoring a career high 15 points along with team leading 11 rebounds. Guard Ashley Elliott also ended the game with 18 points. As a team, they were 17-50 (.340) from the field and a dismal 5-25 (.200) from beyond the arc.

Colorado State was led by senior Joy Jenkins, who finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Melissa Dennett led the Rams with 11 rebounds. CSU shot 21-50 (.420) from the field and 13-16 (.813) from the charity stripe.

Wyoming will close out the conference regular season next week on the road. They will face the New Mexico Lobos, on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m., in Albuquerque and then the Air Force Academy Falcons, on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., in Colorado Springs, Colo.