March 16, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (23-8 overall) earned an opening round victory in the WNIT over the Portland State Vikings (20-12 overall), by the final of 79-44, on Wednesday night in Laramie.
"The first game in the WNIT you are coming off a loss," said head coach Joe Legerski. "We talk about the excitement that your team has to bring. I knew that the kids would play hard, but would they be sharp. When we were 1-15 in the first half from the three-point line, I knew we weren't sharp but we talked about getting the ball inside. We went on a run where we attacked the zone and found Hillary time after time. She and Aubrey both converted at the basket, and I thought Chaundra Sewell gave us a great deal of energy on the offensive glass. Also, when we went on our run the crowd really energized us. You would have thought it was a two point game. From that point, I thought the kids woke up to the excitement."
Three Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by senior Hillary Carlson. She recorded a game high 26 points plus seven rebounds against the Vikings. Aubrey Vandiver followed with her 13th double-double of the season recording 20 points and 13 rebounds. Chaundra Sewell added 16 points and nine rebounds as well. Wyoming was 27-65 (.415) from the field and 23-31 (.742) from beyond the arc, while out rebounding the Vikings, 58-36.
Portland State was led by Courtney VanBrocklin who finished with a team high 11 points and three assists. She was followed by Stephanie Egwuatu with nine points and a team high six rebounds. The Vikings were 16-63 (.254) from the field and 5-23 (.217) from beyond the arc.
Wyoming jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but Portland State would score the next six of eight to tie it up at six. Both teams went several minutes without scoring until a couple of free throws by the Cowgirls ended a four minute drought. The Vikings went seven minutes until a layup by Courtney VanBrocklin ended their drought to make it 9-8. UW would responded with an 11-2 run to give them a double-figure advantage, 20-10. The two teams combined for the next eight points which made it 24-14. Wyoming gained some momentum by running off nine straight points to extend the lead to 19, 33-14. Each team would score a basket to close out the half as the Cowgirls took a 35-16 lead into the lockerroom.
Each team scored quickly out of the break, but an 8-0 run by Wyoming gave them a 45-18 advantage. Portland State tried to chip into the lead with six of the next nine points to make it, 48-24. The Cowgirls increased the lead back to 30, 54-24. It was pretty even over the next couple of minutes as Wyoming continued to lead, 58-29. Another 8-2 run by the Cowgirls increased the lead to 66-31, and after that the two teams played even as the Cowgirls came away with the 79-44 victory.
Wyoming will now move into the Second Round of the WNIT. They will face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls, on Monday March 21. The game is set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.
Tickets to Monday's game are on sale on-line now at WyomingAthletics.com and through the University of Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office. Ticket prices are $13 for adults, $7 for children and $5 for UW students. Cowgirl Basketball season-ticket holders who wish to reserve their regular-season seats must either call the UW Athletics Ticket Office or drop by the ticket office prior to noon on the day of the game. Season-ticket holders will not be able to reserve their regular-season seats on-line through WyomingAthletics.com. The UW Athletics Ticket Office phone numbers are: (877) 996-3261 or (307) 766-4850.