Nov. 17, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Junior forward Chaundra Sewell notched her second career double-double with a career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds to guide the University of Wyoming women's basketball team to a 69-61 win over Chadron State on Thursday night. More 3,098 fans in the Arena-Auditorium saw the Cowgirls battle a feisty Eagle squad throughout the second half en route to picking up their first win of the season.
"There's so much to be learned for this group every time we step out on the floor and I thought tonight was that way," Wyoming head coach Joe Legerski said. "I think we grew a little bit as a group tonight. We had to play defense right down to the last possession."
With the game tied at 36-36 nearly halfway through the second half, Sewell took control and scored Wyoming's next 12 points to put the Cowgirls up 48-40 with 8:33 to go. That's as close as CSC could get the rest of the game, as freshman Kayla Woodward added six-straight points and Sewell and junior forward Ashley Sickles sealed the game with free throws down the stretch.
"[Chaundra] responded," Legerski said. "I talked to Chaundra about this. She said that she thought she could get us eight to 10 (points) every night. I told her that no longer helps us. We need you to be the leader and to get the points. For her to go 11-of-16 from the field, that really tells me what she was able to get done tonight"
Sewell's night came courtesy of an 11-of-16 performance from the field and 8-of-13 from the free-throw line. Sickles added a career-high 13 points and five assists on 3-of-8 from the field and 6-of-8 at the line. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 38 percent (21-of-54) from the field, while the Eagles hit 37 percent (20-of-53). UW held a 12-9 advantage in assists and 20-11 in turnovers.
The Cowgirls jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game behind layups from Sickles and Sewell, but Chadron State (0-2) answered with a three. UW extended the advantage to 11-4 with a Mileto trey at the 13:02 mark, while holding the Eagles to 1-of-7 to start the contest. CSC once again fought back with back-to-back treys to come within three at the midway point of the half.
Free throws from Mileto and an old fashion, three-point play from Sewell kept the Cowgirls in front down the stretch. Landry converted a basket and the free throw also to give UW its first double-digit lead at 32-22 with 1:21 left in the half, as the Cowgirls took a 36-24 lead to halftime.
Wyoming shot 30 percent (8-of-26) from the field in the first half, and hit four threes, while Chadron hit 45 percent (11-of-24) and three treys. UW held a 12-7 advantage in turnovers and 5-2 in steals. Sewell lead all scorers in the first half with nine points and added four rebounds, while Sickles and Mileto both had seven points.
Chadron State stepped up its defensive effort to start the second half, as the Eagles held UW without a point through the first seven minutes and tied the contest at 36-36. Sewell caught fire over the next three minutes, as she scored Wyoming's next 12 points to push the lead back to eight through the middle minutes.
Six-straight points from Woodward pushed the UW lead to 13 at 53-40, but once again Chadron State hung tough and pulled within 58-50 with 3:40 to go in the game. Sewell hit a bucket and free throw to push the lead to 11 on the next play, but CSC made one last surge to come within eight at 64-53 with 1:34 to go. Free throws from Sewell and Sickles down the stretch iced the game, though.
Wyoming continues its season at the Loyola Marymount Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend. The Cowgirls face Northern Iowa on Friday, Nov. 25 at 4 to start the event.