March 23, 2003
FT. COLLINS, Colo. - In the second round of the WNIT, the Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Team (18-12 overall) had their season ended by the final score of 73-64 against the Colorado State Rams (20-12 overall) on Sunday afternoon in Ft. Collins.
It was low scoring in the first couple of minutes of the game as both teams combined for just six points with the Cowgirls taking a 4-2 lead. After the first media time-out, the Rams would catch fire and go on an 8-0 run while the Cowgirls struggled going five minutes without a basket to allow CSU to gain a 10-4 advantage. After a Lisa McCann basket, Colorado State ran off another seven straight to increase their lead to 17-6. Wyoming tried to cut into the Ram lead, but CSU had an answer to every score. Down by ten with five minutes left in the half a 4-0 run from Wyoming pulled them to within six, which was the closest they'd been since the tip, but the Rams continued to score at will. A 12-7 scoring run from Colorado State to close out the half gave them an 11-point lead 33-22 going into halftime.
Senior Carrie Bacon led all Wyoming scorers with nine, while bringing down four rebounds. She was followed by several other Cowgirls with two. As a team, they were 9-20 (.450) from the field, but struggled hanging on to the ball with 15 turnovers. The Rams Shannon Strecker led her team with 14 points and three rebounds. CSU was 12-26 (.462) from the field and 8-10 (.800) from the charity stripe.
Colorado State struck first in the second half with an Ashley Augspurger three-point play which put the Rams up 36-22, but then eight straight from the Cowgirls pulled them to within six. A three-point basket from Katie Borton stopped the Wyoming scoring drive and put them back up 39-30, but once again an extremely determined Cowgirl team went on a 9-0 run to tie it all up at 39. The Rams responded with 11 straight points to regain a double-digit lead, 51-39, while the Cowgirls struggled to hit a shot. Not willing to give up, the Cowgirls continued to battle as they went on an 8-5 run to close the score to 56-47 but the Rams continued to answer each score. Down by ten with just under four minutes to go, the Cowgirls tried for one final push, but on this day it wasn't meant to be. With free throws in the final minute, the Rams would seal up the 73-64 victory.
"I really felt the effort was there and this team gave everything they had today," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "It was a hard ending, but the effort and work ethic were there, and Carrie Bacon had a huge game for us. The key for me is where this team has come, where we're going and the fact we made it into post-season play is really a step in the right direction for this program."
"It's tough to play in Moby and that's why they are 16-1 on their home court," she added. "You never want to lose, but it was a hard fought battle and I'm proud of them."
In her final game as a Cowgirl, senior Carrie Bacon had a phenomenal game. She recorded 22 points and ten rebounds in her second double-double in as many games. Bacon ends her career as one of the top players in Cowgirl history finishing with 1692 points and 761 rebounds. Sophomore Ashley Elliott also finished in double-figures with 16, along with six assists. As a team, they shot 23-43 (.535) from the field, while outrebounding the Rams 32-23.
"I'm just so proud of my teammates and what we've been able to accomplish over our careers," said Bacon. "It was hard for me with all of the surgeries, but I never lost hope, our coaches and the team never lost hope. We all supported each other and some people thought we'd never do what we've done this season, but we always believed in ourselves and each other."
The Cowgirls finished the season 18-12 overall and 7-7 in the Mountain West Conference.