Dec. 1, 2004
Laramie, Wyoming (Dec. 1, 2004) - For only the ninth time in the series history, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (4-1 overall) held on to a 72-67 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes (2-3 overall) on Wednesday night in Laramie. The win breaks a 13-game winning streak by Colorado. The last time that a Cowgirl team defeated the Buffs was on Dec. 13, 1989 by the final of 67-63.
After the Buffs took an early 5-3 lead to start off the game, the Cowgirls scored ten unanswered to go up by eight, 13-5. Colorado responded with an 8-4 run to pull within four, but Wyoming scored the next eight of ten to increase their margin to double-digits, 25-15. Despite every effort of the Buffs, UW continued to maintain a significant lead in the game until a small 5-1 run closed that gap to six. The Cowgirls kept their composure and managed to take a 39-33 lead in to the locker room.
Ashley Elliott and Hanna Zavecz led all scorers with ten, while Erin Hicks recorded four rebounds. The high scorer for Colorado was Whitney Law with eight. Wyoming shot 14-33 (.424) from the field compared to 14-26 (.538) by the Buffs.
It was pretty slow on the scoring end to begin the second half, while Wyoming continued to lead in the game. With the score 45-41 in favor of UW, the Buffs went on a 6-3 run that pulled them to within one, 48-47, as the Cowgirls went several minutes without a basket. Finally, a couple of free throws by Jodi Bolerjack would pull them out of that slump unfortunately Colorado wouldn't go away. With 8:25 left on the clock, CU once again came back and pulled to within three, 55-52, and this time seven unanswered from the Cowgirls gave them a 62-52 advantage. Two Jackie McFarland free throws broke a three minute scoring drought by the Buffs, but Wyoming seemed to gain control with just under four minutes left in the game. Despite all of that, Colorado continued to battle back by scoring the next 15 of 22 which brought them to within two. Erin Hicks gave Wyoming a 70-67 lead, but two free throws in the final seconds by Ashley Elliott would seal the deal for Wyoming. They would hang on to the 72-67 victory.
"One of the things we talk about as a group is improving on a daily basis, but more importantly we have to learn to win at home," said head coach Joe Legerski. "It was a battle tonight. Colorado is very talented and you have to play 40 minutes. I was extremely impressed with the play of Kristen Lenhardt. She was down on the block giving up a great deal of size and just kept fighting. Once again, it's another step for a young program to learn how to win.
"We talked about winning in four minute segments in the second half instead of 20 minutes, especially with a young team like this to keep them focused for that amount of time. We knew Colorado would make a run, and that it would come down to a shot here or there and we were able to make those big plays."
Four of the five starters finished the night in double-figures, including senior Ashley Elliott. She finished with a season high 21 points and a career high nine assists. Elliott was 6-13 (.462) from the field and a perfect 7-7 (1.00) from the charity stripe. Those 21 points also helped her surpass the 1,000 point mark in her career as she currently ranks 12th with 1,011 career points. Freshman Hanna Zavecz tallied 13 points followed by Erin Hicks with 12 and Kristen Lenhardt with a season high 11 points. Hicks also recorded her first double-double as she also brought down a team high 11 rebounds. The Cowgirls were 21-63 (.333) from the field and 20-25 (.800) from the charity stripe. They also out rebounded the Buffs 37-32.
Colorado was led by Jackie McFarland, who scored a career high 23 points, along with eight rebounds off the bench. Anna Nedovic chipped in 13 points, while Whitney Law contributed 12 points. The Buffs were 25-49 (.510) from the field, but committed 18 turnovers.
"Ashley (Elliott) really stepped up to the challenge tonight," he added. "We put her back in the game with four fouls with about 11 minutes left in the game, because I felt like we needed her on the floor. We told her that she needed to stay away from the contact that was going on defensively in order for her to help us offensively. She did a wonderful job for us."
The Cowgirls will take the weekend off and return to action on Monday, Dec. 6, as they host the Texas Pan American Broncs. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.