Nov. 24, 2003
Laramie, Wyoming - The Wyoming basketball team (0-2 overall) opened up the 2003-04 home season with a 59-50 loss against the Washington State Cougars (2-0 overall) on Monday night.
The Cowgirls took an early 3-0 lead after a three-point field goal from Brenda Pickup which was answered by six straight points for the Cougars. Wyoming kept their composure and scored 12 unanswered to go up 15-6, while Washington State struggled to get a shot to fall. After a basket from WSU, both teams went on a scoring drought until a field goal from Michelle Lieber made the score 17-8. The Cougars mounted a come back with a 14-5 run to even things up at 22 and eventually taking the lead at 27-24 which they took in to the locker room.
Two players finished the half with five points for the Cowgirls, while the Cougars Kate Benz led all scorers with eight. Sara Hippen recorded four rebounds to lead both teams. Wyoming struggled shooting 8-25 (.320) from the field compared to 12-23 (.522) for Washington State.
Wyoming struggled to score out of the halftime break by scoring only six points in the first seven minutes of the second half compared to the Cougars 12 as they opened up a 37-26 lead. Down 39-30, UW seemed to get things going with five straight points, but WSU hit a quick basket to regain a six point lead. The Cowgirls continued to battle and pulled to within three and again the Cougars scored five points to open up a 48-40 advantage. Despite the good effort, Wyoming couldn't make the comeback as they would fall short 59-50.
Junior Ashley Elliott led all scorers with 21 points. She was 6-13 from the field and 5-9 from beyond the arc, while pulling down four rebounds. Sara Hippen also finished the night in double-figures with ten points along with four rebounds. They were followed by Brenda Pickup with five points and three players with four. As a team, they shot 17-48 (.354) from the field.
Two players finished in double-digits for the Cougars, including Kate Benz. She finished with a team leading 19 points and seven rebounds followed by Bianca McCall with 16. Washington State shot 25-47 (.532) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 30-27.
"I know that we've talked about improving every day, growing up with our youth and some of that showed tonight down the stretch," said head coach Joe Legerski. "They had good plays against us and we didn't come out and make those plays. We just have to keep every one positive about what we're trying to do.
"I was pleased with the play and effort of Ashley Elliott," added Legerski. "She really stepped it up in the second half after I challenged her to come out and be a bigger part offensively, and she did that. We had a slow start to begin the second half and she helped us get back in to it."
The Cowgirls will continue play at home by hosting the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.