Dec. 3, 2009
MOSCOW, Idaho -
The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (7-0 overall) had to overcome a five-point halftime deficit to earn a 61-55 victory over the Idaho Vandals (1-7 overall), on Thursday night in Moscow.
"I thought this was a very difficult game tonight," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "Idaho did a tremendous job and ran a matching zone with our offense and we had to make a change to our motion to get things moving in our offense. It seemed like every time we were trying to get back into it, we would miss a shot, not come up with a rebound, and they would make plays. You have to give Idaho a great deal of credit for their effort tonight just for the way they played and competed. We talked about coming out and winning the second half, which is always important whether you're up or down going into halftime. We showed great composure in the final four to five minutes of the game, and Jade Kennedy hit a huge shot to tie it.
Three Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by junior Hillary Carlson. She recorded a game high 20 points, while shooting 7-12 (.583) from the field and 6-8 (.750) from the free throw line. Emma Langford followed with 14 points and six boards, while Jade Kennedy added ten points, four rebounds and four assists. Aubrey Vandiver finished with a team high 12 rebounds and nine points. As a team, Wyoming shot 20-55 (.364) from the field and 13-16 (.813) from the charity stripe.
"Hillary Carlson played about seven minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. We kept going to her in the second half and she comes out of the game with 20 points. She worked extremely hard at the post and you can see the confidence growing in her game. We need her to get the basketball and when she does she makes good decisions."
Idaho was led by Shaena Kuehu with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Kanisha Bello had 13 points and Rachele Kloke added 11. The Vandals also shot 20-55 (.364) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 44-33.
It was very low scoring to begin the game as the two teams were tied up at 3-3 through the first media timeout. Hillary Carlson hit a basket to end the scoring drought for the Cowgirls to put them up 5-3, but the Vandals answered with two three-point field goals to regain the lead 9-5. Wyoming responded with a 7-0 run to take a 12-9 lead, unfortunately Idaho scored the next nine straight to take a six point advantage, 18-12. After a Cowgirl three-point field goal, the Vandals scored another seven unanswered to extend the lead to double-figures 25-15. Wyoming closed the gap by scoring the last five points of the half but still headed into the lockerroom down 25-20.
The Cowgirls picked up where they left off from by scoring the first six points to begin the second half to take a one point lead, 26-25. Idaho responded quickly with a 7-0 run to regain the lead, 32-26. Wyoming chipped away at the lead by scoring 10 of 14 to pull even at 36 all, but again the Vandals came back with a 10-2 run to make it an eight point lead, 46-38. The Cowgirls continued to battle and scored six straight to pull within two, 46-44, with 5:40 left in the game. Wyoming would eventually tie it up at 49, but a basket the Vandals put them back up 51-49. Hillary Carlson would hit one of two free throws to make it a one point game, 51-50. Idaho continued to have an answer as they hit another shot to make it 53-50, but Jade Kennedy hit a three-point field goal to tie it up at 1:50 left on the clock. Four straight points by Hillary Carlson made it a two possession game, 57-53. They would allow the Vandals to just score one more field goal as they pulled out the 61-55 victory.
Wyoming will close out the weekend against the Washington State Cougars, on Saturday, Dec. 5. The game is set to tip at 3 p.m. MT.