Nov. 24, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (4-0 overall) brought home the 2012 Pepperdine Thanksgiving Title with a 22-point win, 72-50, over the Pepperdine Waves (2-3 overall) on Saturday, in Malibu. With the victory, head coach Joe Legerski becomes the all-time winningest coach with 176 career wins. He passes former head coach Chad Lavin who had 175 victories. Sophomore Chelan Landry was named the MVP of the tournament while Chaundra Sewell was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
"One of the things we talk about is without team success there is no individual success. I've been blessed to have a lot of good players over the years and bought into what we wanted to get done," said Legerski. "I don't grab any rebounds or score any points, so I'm relying for the players to get it done for me. It says to me you've been around a long time or had some great kids. I've been fortunate to be at Wyoming and I passed someone that gave me the opportunity to get into the college game in Chad Lavin. He is a tremendous coach. I'm glad that I've reached the record and there is no more watching how many wins I have."
The Cowgirls were led by sophomore Kaitlyn Mileto who had a career night with 25 points and seven rebounds. She was 10-16 (.625) from the field and a perfect 5-5 (1.00) from beyond the arc. Ashley Sickles followed with 11 points and six rebounds, while two other players, Chaundra Sewell and Kayla Woodward, each added nine points. Wyoming was 24-48 (.500) from the field and 7-13 (.538) from beyond the arc. They also out rebounded the Waves 50-23 and held them to 28.6 percent (18-63) shooting percentage.
Pepperdine was led by Shay Cooney-Williams with a team high 13 points. She shot 5-7 from the field and recorded four assists. Three other players finished the night with seven points each while Robie Mayberry had a team high eight rebounds.
"It was a team effort tonight," added Legerski. "We got off to a great start led by Kaitlyn Mileto to have 18 at halftime, she was knocking everything down. When she gets in a grove, you can't take her out and you let her go as long as she can go. I thought other players stepped up like Kayla Woodward was 4-7, Alison Gorrell was 2-4 and Brenna Freeze came in off the bench. When you talk about a tremendous team effort you talk about that you can count on everyone.
Wyoming got on the board first with a basket by Kaitlyn Mileto, which was answered quickly with a field goal from the Waves. With the shot clock winding down, Mileto hit a three point field goal to give them a 5-2 advantage and then hit a second three point shot on the next possession to increase the Cowgirl lead to four, 8-4. A shot by Kelsey Patrick brought Pepperdine to within two, 8-6, heading into the first media timeout. Out of the break, Wyoming scored seven straight points to put them ahead nine, 15-6. A field goal by Tessa Emerson finally ended a four minute drought the Waves, but the Cowgirls answered right back. Started by another three-point field goal by Mileto they would go on a 12-4 run to make it a double-digit lead, 27-12, with 8:33 to go in the half. The two teams played fairly even over the last minutes of the half as Wyoming would take a 38-21 lead into the lockerroom.
The Cowgirls were led by Mileto who finished with a team high 18 points while shooting 7-10 from the field and 4-4 from beyond the arc. Chaundra Sewell had six points followed by Ashley Sickles with four. Wyoming was 12-26 (.462) from the field and 5-8 (.625) from the three.
In the second half, the Waves tried to chip into that Wyoming lead with four of six early points by Robie Mayberry to close the gap to 16, 43-27. After a possession by each of the two teams a three-point jumper from Kayla Woodward would start a 9-2 run to put them ahead by 23, 52-29 with 13:25 remaining in the game. During that stretch, Pepperdine would go almost three minutes without a basket. A jumper from Cooney-Williams tried to slow down the Cowgirl scoring attack, but Wyoming would continue to maintain a significant lead. With the score 59-35 in favor of UW, Pepperdine would try and make one final push closing the gap to 16, 66-50. There would be no comeback for the Waves as six straight points by the Cowgirls to close out the game gave them the 72-50 victory and a 4-0 start on the season.
The Cowgirls will continue play on the road for one more game before returning home next Saturday. They will face the Colorado Buffs, on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The game is set to tip at 7:00 p.m. in Boulder.