Feb. 28, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Team (16-10 overall, 7-7 Mountain West Conference) suffered their first home conference loss of the season by the final of 52-48 against the Utah Utes (18-9 overall, 9-5 MWC) on Sunday afternoon in Laramie.
"It was a difficult loss today," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "I knew it would be a possession by possession game. We talked going in that Whipple would get her points, but that we had to limit what other people put on the board. More importantly, we needed to score. When we played in Salt Lake the score was 52-47 and today it was 52-48. We knew that we needed to come up with more points. It was a tough shooting night for us, which we haven't had many of those at home. This is a basketball game that we are trying to learn from and we have players that need to know when to make a play. Utah went down to their senior at the end and she ended up getting to the free throw line. We had some chances down the stretch it just didn't go our way.
"I thought Jade Kennedy did what we asked of her today with 12 points and seven rebounds. We wanted her to play a little more on the inside than the outside. Unfortunately when it's a game like this every missed free throw and turnover is magnified."
Junior Hillary Carlson led all scorers for the Cowgirls with 13, along with adding five rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots. She was followed by Jade Kennedy with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Emma Langford and Randi Richardson each added eight. Aubrey Vandiver recorded 12 rebounds. As a team, they shot 16-54 (.296) from the field and 3-17 (.176) from beyond the arc.
Kalee Whipple led the Utes with 17 points and brought down seven boards in 38 minutes. Taryn Wicijowski followed with 12 points and six rebounds, while Janita Badon added ten points and nine rebounds. Utah shot 21-59 (.356) from the field and out rebounded Wyoming 43-38.
Wyoming jumped out to a 5-0 lead to begin the game, but Utah scored the next seven straight to take a 7-5 advantage going into the first media timeout. With the score 9-5 in favor of Utah, a Carlson basket would end an almost five minute scoring drought for UW, while two Jade Kennedy free throws would even it up at nine. The Utes answered with six straight to make the lead 15-9. A couple of baskets by Wyoming would pull them to within two, 15-13, but a Whipple three point field goal put them ahead 18-13. The Cowgirls answered right back with a 9-0 run to gain a four point lead 22-18 with 3:40 left in the half. Another four points by Whipple would even it up at 22 all. Jade Kennedy would hit a basket to close out the half to take a 24-22 lead into the locker room.
The Utes came out of the half and went on a 6-2 run to regain a 30-26 advantage. Hillary Carlson and Vandiver would score a couple of baskets to tie it up at 30 all. Utah went up two, 32-30, and then both teams went several minutes without scoring. A pair of Langford free throws would end the drought for the Cowgirls which would start an 8-4 run to give them a 38-34 lead with eight minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, Utah scored the next nine points to retake the lead 43-38. Wyoming would battle back with eight straight to go up 46-43 with under three minutes in the game. Two free throws and a three-point play by the Utes gave them a two point lead, 48-46. Carlson would tie it up at 48 all with 59 seconds on the clock. Free throws and a basket by Utah, plus some missed opportunities by the Cowgirls would give the Utes the 52-48 win.
The Cowgirls will play their final regular season road game as they travel to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Academy Falcons, on Wednesday, March 3. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.