Dec. 13, 2003
Casper, Wyoming (Dec. 13, 2003) -- Head coach Joe Legerski and the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team earned their first win of the 2003-04 season with a 62-51 victory over the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets (3-4 overall) on Saturday night in Casper.
The Yellowjackets opened up the game by taking a 6-2 lead as the Cowgirls struggled shooting the ball early. Finally a 5-0 run from Wyoming gave them their first lead of the game 7-6. A basket from MSU-Billings helped them regain a one point margin, but the Cowgirls scored the next seven of nine points to take a six point lead, 16-10. That lead would grow as another 8-1 run from UW opened up a 24-11 advantage as the Yellowjackets couldn't get anything going offensively. With about four minutes left in the half, a 7-4 run from MSUB pulled them to within ten, but two baskets from Wyoming helped them take a 32-21 lead in to the locker room.
Junior guard Ashley Elliott led the Cowgirls with ten points followed by Brenda Pickup with eight. Michelle Lieber and Sara Hippen finished with two rebounds each. Wyoming was 11-26 (.423) from the field and 7-8 (.875) from the free throw line. Tanya Petersen of MSUB led all scorers with 11 points, while Robyn Milne was the leading rebounder with nine. The Yellowjackets shot 8-21 (.381) from the field while out rebounding the Cowgirls 19-9.
Both teams traded baskets in the early going of the second half as the Cowgirls still maintained a double-digit lead, 39-27. Behind steady play from Wyoming the margin grew after an 11-4 run to make the score 50-31, while the Yellowjackets had trouble with turnovers and getting shots to fall. Despite out scoring the Cowgirls 20-12 in the final ten minutes of the game, Montana State Billings couldn't overcome the deficit as they would fall 62-51.
Two Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures including Ashley Elliott as she finished with 21 points, along with five assists and five steals. She was followed by Brenda Pickup with 15 and freshman Tarah LaPar with a career high nine points. LaPar also led the team in rebounds with a career high eight rebounds. As a team, they finished 19-46 (.413) from the field and 17-20 (.850) from the charity stripe. UW also created 28 turnovers from the Yellowjackets along with 19 steals.
Montana State Billings was led by Tanya Petersen with 13 points followed by Sophia Forney with ten. Robyn Milne led all rebounders with 11. They were 16-45 (.356) from the field and struggled from beyond the arc shooting only 2-12 (.167)
"It feels great to get that first win," said head coach Joe Legerski. "I think the players were feeling the pressure each and every game they'd like to get that win and tonight they stepped up and found a way to get it done. I'm extremely pleased to get that first win out of the way.
"Brenda Pickup is really the leader for us. She's out there 39 minutes and I wanted to take her out to let the audience give her a hand for the effort she gave. We put a lot of pressure on Brenda to bring the basketball up the court, get us in our offense and do some things. She does a good job, along with Ashley Elliott, and they've both done a great things for us."
The Cowgirls will be at home next week as they host the Portland Pilots, on Friday night, at 7:00 p.m. It will be their final game before the Christmas break.