Nov. 16, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming basketball team improved their record to 2-0 after a 15-point victory, 81-66, over the Denver Pioneers on Friday night in Laramie. Denver drops to 0-3 on the season.
All five starters finished the game in double-figures led by sophomore Kayla Woodward. She finished with a season high 20 points and four rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Alison Gorrell followed with 15 points and five assists, while shooting 5-5 from the field. Kaitlyn Mileto and Ashley Sickles added 14 each while Chaundra Sewell chipped in ten. Sewell also recorded her first double-double of the season with a game high ten rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 29-49 (.592) from the field and 8-14 (.571) from beyond the arc.
Denver was led by Morgan Van Riper-Rose who recorded a team high 16 points and three assists. Theresa Wirth recorded ten points and Desiree Hunter brought down a team high six boards. The Pioneers were 27-59 (.458) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 31-30.
"You talk about a team effort tonight. This was a hard fought, physical game and we responded very well," said head coach Joe Legerski. "I especially think that reflects on how poorly we shot from the free throw line. I think it was such a tough game that we couldn't get calmed down when we stepped to the line and that's something that will be a learning experience for this group. To have five players in double-figures in scoring, put 81 points up on the board, moved the ball we were aggressive on the floor and knew we had to be. Our bench played a vital part when Chaundra and Kaitlyn got in foul trouble they really gave us the minutes that we needed. We kept calling upon Alison and Kayla to make some big plays. That's why I look at it and say what a team effort."
Wyoming jumped out quickly to an 8-0 lead behind two three-point field goals. A basket from Theresa Wirth would get the Pioneers on the board with 18:19 to go. The Cowgirls extended the lead to double-figures with a 9-2 scoring run to make it 17-4. A three-point basket from Jordan Johnston ended the run right before the media timeout. Over the next four minutes, the two teams traded scores as Wyoming continued to maintain a 23-9 lead. Denver would close the gap as they scored nine unanswered to pull to within five, 23-18. Two straight baskets and a set of free throws stopped a four minute scoring drought for the Cowgirls and increased the lead back to 11, 29-18. It was an evenly played game over the next couple of minutes until Denver went on a 6-2 run brought them to within nine, 39-30. A free throw by Alison Gorrell ended a two minute drought for the Cowgirls and they would score the final three of five points to take a 42-32 lead going into the lockerroom.
Woodward and Mileto led the way with nine points for the Cowgirls, while Ashley Sickles and Alison Gorrell followed with eight. Chaundra Sewell finished with a team high five rebounds. Wyoming shot 16-27 (.593) for the half and 4-9 (.444) from beyond the arc. Denver was led by Morgan Van Riper-Rose with 11 points while Desiree Hunter recorded a team high four rebounds. They were 13-27 (.481) from the field.
After a basket by Denver to begin the second half, the Cowgirls went on an 11-4 run started by an Alison Gorrell field goal to increase the lead to 15, 53-38, through the first media timeout. Emiko Smith hit a basket to stop a run which was answered by a Kaitlyn Mileto basket. That would start a 6-4 run for Wyoming to give them a 17-point advantage, 61-44. The Pioneers continued to battle back as they scored six unanswered to bring them to within 11, 61-50, with just under 12 minutes to go in the game. A free throw by Kayla Woodward stopped the run and then three straight baskets by the Cowgirls gave them a 20-point advantage, 70-50. The two teams traded baskets for a couple of minutes as Wyoming held a 74-57 lead. Denver would again try and chip away at the Cowgirl lead. They scored seven of the next eight to once again make it an 11-point contest, 75-64, with 3:43 left in the game. That would be as close as it would get as Wyoming held on for the 81-66 victory.
Wyoming will go on the road for the first time this season as they travel to California for two games in the Pepperdine Thanksgiving Classic. Their first game will be Friday, Nov. 23 against Seton Hall at 2:00 p.m. MT. They will either face South Dakota or Pepperdine on Saturday, Nov. 24.