Cowgirl Basketball Wins Season Opener

Nov. 12, 2010

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (1-0 overall) opened up the regular season with 64-58 victory over the Denver Pioneers (0-1 overall) on Friday night in Laramie.

"That's about as tough of an opener as you want to begin the year," said head coach Joe Legerski. "I thought the game was played extremely well. We talked at halftime that the first four minutes out of the break were very important. We came out with great energy and made a push from a four point to an 11 point lead. It got us into a comfort zone even though Denver made a couple of runs at us, and it really dictates how you want to play defense and what you want to do offensively."

Two Cowgirls finished the game in double-figures led by Hillary Carlson. She recorded her first double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds. She was followed by Aubrey Vandiver with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Ashley Sickles added seven points off the bench. Wyoming shot 18-41 (.439) from the field and out rebounded the Pioneers 34-23.

"Aubrey and Hillary have been through a lot of battles, games and situations you could think of. We asked Hillary to do a tremendous amount tonight because Murdoch is a great post player despite being undersized. That gave us an advantage on the offensive end. We ran a couple of sets to get Aubrey the ball down on the block. When you take a look at the numbers for the two of them, I know we were fouled the last couple of minutes, but we made sure the two of them were handling the basketball to get them to the line."

Denver was led by Kaetlyn Murdoch with a team high 17 points and four rebounds. Britteni Rice and Sarah Feeney each added 12 points. DU shot 23-46 (.500) from the field and recorded 11 assists.

It was low scoring through the first four minutes of the game as the two teams combined for six points, while Wyoming held a 4-2 lead. Denver scored the next four points to take a 6-4 advantage, but an Aubrey Vandiver basket ended a three minute scoring drought for Wyoming. That would start a 7-0 run to give them an 11-6 advantage. The Pioneers came back with six unanswered to pull even at 12, and they would eventually take the lead 14-13. Wyoming responded with six points to regain a 19-14 score. UW would maintain their lead the remainder of the half and took a 27-23 advantage into the lockerroom.

The Cowgirls increased their lead to double figures, 34-23, out of the break. An 8-4 run by DU closed the gap to seven 38-31. With the score 42-33 in favor of the Cowgirls, Denver scored three straight baskets to make it 42-39. Ashley Sickles ended the UW scoring drought with a three point field goal, which would start a 10-2 run giving Wyoming a 52-41 advantage. Two baskets by Denver brought them to within seven, 52-45, but five straight points by the Cowgirls increased the lead to eight, 57-45. The Pioneers would try and close the gap and pulled to within six, but Wyoming would hold to the 64-58 win.

Wyoming will continue play at home as they host the Dickinson State Lady Blue Hawks, on Monday, Nov. 15. The game is set for 7:00 p.m.