Dec. 21, 2013
MOSCOW, Idaho -
Behind Fallon Lewis' fourth double-double of the season, the Wyoming basketball team (9-2 overall) closed out the non-conference season with a 72-64 win over the Idaho Vandals (7-6 overall) on Saturday afternoon.
Lewis recorded a game high 23 points plus 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists on the night. She was 7-13 from the field and 5-8 from beyond the arc. Kayla Woodward followed with 17 points and seven boards while Marquelle Dent chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds. The Cowgirls were 25-63 (.397) from the field and 15-20 (.750) from the charity stripe.
Alyssa Charlston was the leading scorer for the Vandals with 22 while adding eight rebounds and four blocks. Christina Salvatore finished her night with 15 points and Ali Forde recorded 12 rebounds. Idaho shot 23-68 (.338) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 45-43.
"I told the team about the ten minute mark of the second half that Idaho would not go away. They won the conference tournament last year, went to the NCAA tournament plus had all their starters coming back. When you have that kind of experience and ability to win, you know that they could get on a roll and they did," said head coach Joe Legerski. "We got a little tight and tired towards the end. Then little plays like missing four straight free throws during that stretch or not coming up with a couple extra rebounds starts to be a factor. All of sudden, it gave Idaho life and that became a big part of what was going on. We closed it out at the free throw line which was good to see.
"We've talked to Fallon about shooting the three all along and tonight she was able to do that. Her 23 points plus Kayla Woodward had a solid outing and played almost the entire game. We just needed her plus with Marquelle fouling out, Chelan stepped up. Tough game right before Christmas, I'm just glad to get this one."
Wyoming jumped out early against the Vandals scoring seven of the first nine points to go ahead, 7-2. Five straight points by Idaho evened things up at seven, which was answered by baskets by Woodward and Lewis to make it 11-7 through the first media timeout. A three-point play by Dent out of the break increased the lead to seven, 14-7. A basket by Stacy Barr finally ended a four minute scoreless drought to make it 14-10 with 12:51 left in the half. The Cowgirls responded with an 11-2 run over the next four minute stretch to give them a double-digit lead 25-12. Addie Schivo hit a field goal to stop the run and the Vandals would score six of the next nine to pull to within ten, 28-18. Jordan Sibrel hit a basket and free throw to get the lead back to 13, 31-18. Idaho scored the next six unanswered to cut into the Wyoming lead, 31-24. The Cowgirls would close out the half on a 9-3 run to take a 40-27 lead into the locker room.
The two teams traded baskets to begin the second half until a small run from Wyoming would extend the lead to 17, 51-34, with 15:53 on the clock. Over the next couple of minutes, the Cowgirls continued to maintain their lead. With the score 56-39, Idaho went on a 12-2 run to close the gap to seven, 58-51. A three-point field goal by Woodward would end the scoring drought followed by a Lewis field goal increased the lead back to 12, 63-51, with 8:30 left in the game. The Vandals continued to hang around and scored eight unanswered to make it a four-point contest, 63-59. Dent would hit one of two free throws to stop the run, but Idaho hit a field goal the next time down the court to make the score 64-61. Free throws by Woodward and Mileto pushed the lead back to seven, 68-61, with under a minute to go in the game. A three-point field goal by Alyssa Charlston made it 68-64 with 18 seconds on the clock. Four straight free throws by Landry and Lewis in the final seconds gave the Cowgirls the 72-64 win.
The Cowgirls will return to action on Saturday, January 4, as they begin Mountain West play. They will host the Nevada Wolf Pack at 2:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.