Nov. 28, 2003
Laramie, Wyoming - Despite a career high 36 points from junior Ashley Elliott, the Cowgirls lost a heartbreaker in overtime, 70-69, to the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Friday afternoon in Laramie. Wyoming falls to 0-3 overall while the Thunderbirds improve to 3-0.
After Southern Utah took an early 4-2 lead, the Cowgirls went on a 9-4 run to open up a three point advantage, 11-8. The Thunderbirds responded by scoring the next eight of 12 to regain the lead 16-15. Both teams struggled to hit a shot over the next several minutes until a three-point shot by Cyrita Warner gave the SUU a 19-15 lead. UW tied it up with four straight, but Southern Utah quickly regained a 23-19. Wyoming kept their composure and scored the next four of five to tie it up at 24. After a couple of baskets from the Thunderbirds, Wyoming would record the final seven points of the half to take a 31-28 advantage in to the locker room.
Guard Ashley Elliott led all scorers with 15, while two Cowgirls finished with four rebounds. They were 11-31 (.355) from the field and brought down 21 rebounds. For the Thunderbirds, they were led by Cyrita Warner who had 11 points in the half. SUU was 12-32 (.375) from the field.
The Cowgirls came out on fire to start the second half scoring seven straight to take their largest lead of the game 38-28. Southern Utah answered with a 15-0 run to retake the lead 43-38. Then it was Wyoming's turn to respond with an 8-3 run to tie the score at 46. Unfortunately, it was short lived as the Thunderbirds scored the next eight of ten to regain a six point lead. Despite being down, the Cowgirls battled back with nine unanswered to take the 57-54 lead. It would still go down to the wire as SUU scored four of the final five points in a minute to make the score 58 all and send the game in to overtime.
Again Elliott led the way with 25 points, while freshman Michelle Lieber recorded 12 rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 21-56 (.375) from the field and out rebounded the Thunderbirds 43-34 at the end of regulation.
In the overtime period, the Ashley Elliott show continued as she scored all eleven points for the Cowgirls. Wyoming seemed to have the momentum go their way as they took a 66-63 lead, which was quickly answered by a Katy Cooke three-point field goal to tie it all up at 66 A layup and a free throw shot from Elliott helped UW regain a 69-66 advantage unfortunately Southern Utah had other ideas. With less than a minute to go, the Thunderbirds scored four straight points to pull out the 70-69 overtime win.
"Both teams came in to this game with marquis players in Southern Utah's Casey Cooke and Wyoming's Ashley Elliott It was just a matter of who could defend those two players," said head coach Joe Legerski. "We worked more on getting the ball inside tonight, and I was happy that we were getting the basketball to people that could get the ball in the basket.
"We talked a great deal in a couple of our time outs when we got down that right now was a turning point in this program and this game. The fact that we'd been down before and we had to reach down and do some things defensively as well as climb back in the game. The last few games we'd get down six or seven points and it was a real challenge for us to make a comeback. Today, we stepped up and made plays on both sides of the ball, which I was pleased with.
"I thought we executed as well as we could with the players we had. Ashley (Elliott) and Brenda (Pickup) did a great job on Casey Cooke and Janis Beal, so I was happy with their defense on those two players. We just have to do a better job on the inside to allow us to get more offensive production from those players."
Junior Ashley Elliott finished the night with a career high 36 points, falling just one short of the all time single game scoring record of 37 points by Amy Burnett set Feb. 25, 1995 against UTEP, which tied Christine Fairless for second place on the list. She was 13-26 from the field and 7-15 from the three-point line. Brenda Pickup followed with nine points, Kristen Lenhardt had seven and two other players finished the night with six. True Freshman Michelle Lieber recorded a career high six points and 15 rebounds in the cause. Wyoming finished 25-64 (.391) from the field, while out rebounding Southern Utah 48-37.
Three players from Southern Utah scored in double-figures including Lacey Yates. She finished with a team high 24 points and eight rebounds in 39 minutes of play. Katy Cooke finished with 12 points followed by Cyrita Warner with 11. The Thunderbirds were 28-65 (.431) from the field and 7-14 (.500) from beyond the arc.
Wyoming will play the fifth ranked team in the country next week by traveling to Lubbock to face the Texas Tech Lady Raiders on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. MT.