March 21, 2003
Laramie, Wyo. - In dramatic fashion, the Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Team (18-11 overall) pulled out a dramatic 76-74 overtime victory in the WNIT over the Montana Lady Griz (20-10 overall), on Friday night in Laramie. It's the first time ever in school history that a Cowgirl team has won in post-season.
Wyoming jumped out to an early 6-3 lead, but a Brooklynn Lorenzen three-pointer tied it up at six all. An Ashley Elliott basket helped the Cowgirls regain the lead, but six straight from the Lady Griz gave them their largest lead of the half so far 12-9. Wyoming responded with a 7-2 run to take a two-point lead, and the two teams continued to trade baskets over the next several minutes with neither holding a lead larger than two. With it all tied up at 20, the Cowgirls seemed to gain not only momentum but the lead 30-24. Montana answered to close within two and that's how it would be going into halftime, 30-28, in favor of the Cowgirls.
Senior Carrie Bacon led all scorers with 15, while leading the team in rebounds with five. The Cowgirls were 11-25 (.440) from the field, but were outrebounded 26-16 by Montana. The Lady Griz were led by Jody McLeod and Brooklynn Lorenzen with eight points, while McLeod also recorded ten boards.
The two teams traded free throws in the early going of the second half, until a couple of quick baskets from Montana gave them a 34-32 lead. The Cowgirls battled back scoring the next eight of ten to regain a four point lead, 40-36, but four straight from the Lady Griz tied it all up and the fight was on. With the score tied at 45, Montana gained momentum of their own with a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the game 54-45. There was no giving up by Wyoming as they ran off six straight to close within three, 54-51, but the Lady Griz would keep them at bay with a four to five point margin. With about five minutes left in the game, it started to shift towards the Cowgirls as a 10-5 run helped to pull them within one, 65-64. It would go down to the wire as senior Lisa McCann put Wyoming up one with less than a minute to go, 68-67. Free throws from both teams would knot up the score at 69 all and that's how regulation would end.
Montana struck first in the overtime with a basket from Brooklynn Lorenzen, but Wyoming answered with two Ann McColl free throws. A huge three point basket from the Lady Griz put them up 74-71, but a very determined Cowgirl team scored the next five points to gain the 76-74 victory.
A double-double from senior Carrie Bacon led the Cowgirls on the night. She finished with 26 points and 13 boards for her fourth double-double of the season, as she went 8-12 from the field and 9-11 from the charity stripe. Two other Cowgirls finished in double-digits including Lisa McCann, who recorded a career high 14 points. Ashley Elliott also chipped in 13 points. As a team, the Cowgirls were 22-51 (.431) from the field, while outrebounding Montana 26-14 in the second half.
The Lady Griz were led by Brooklynn Lorenzen, who finished with 21 points and six assists. Jody McLeod led all rebounders with 14, while chipping in 12 points.
"I feel this whole season has been so great for us," said senior Carrie Bacon. "The fact that we're in post-season play and we won tonight is really a credit to our coaching staff and to this team. It really shows the dedication and heart that we have."
"I think it just says a lot about where this senior class, Carrie and Heather Shaffner has taken this program," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "We set those goals early. It's just been a battle every year to get here. We're finally here. I have the first postseason win ever, they're going to go down in history for that group."
"Only one thing was going through my head at that points - that was thanking God because I wanted it so much for that group," Fisher said. "They have worked so hard and put in so much effort. That's all that I said then."
The Cowgirls now move on to play the Colorado State Rams, for the fourth time this season, on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in Ft. Collins. Tickets will be on sale from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. starting on Saturday. Price are $10.00 for reserved, $7.00 for general admission for adults and $5.00 for children and students with an i.d. Call the CSU ticket office at 1-800-491-RAMS for more information.