Cowgirl Basketball Falls In Second Round

March 12, 2004

The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (11-18 overall, 6-8 in the MWC) ended their season with a 51-44 loss against the New Mexico Lobos (22-7 overall, 12-2 in the MWC) on Friday afternoon at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

After a quick New Mexico basket to start the game, the Cowgirls answered with a Kristen Lenhardt three-point field goal to take their first lead of the game 3-2. It was short lived as the Lobos ran off ten of the next twelve to gain a seven point advantage 12-5, but UW stayed composed and went on a 10-3 run to even the score up at 15. The Lobos came back with two three-point field goals to retake a seven point lead, while the Cowgirls struggled going almost five minutes without a basket. Wyoming climbed back into it only down 21-19, but a Mandi Moore three-point field goal with the shot clock winding down put the Lobos back up 24-19. In the final minutes of the half, the Cowgirls had one push left in them as they scored eight unanswered to take a 27-24 lead into the locker room.

Forward Kristen Lenhardt led all scorers with 14 points followed by Michelle Lieber with eight. Lieber also finished the half with five rebounds. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 10-21 (.476) from the field and 4-7 (.571) from beyond the arc.

New Mexico was led by Mandi Moore who finished with eight, while forward Melissa Forest led the Lobos with six rebounds. UNM shot 8-24 (.333) from the field and 5-11 (.455) from beyond the arc.

UNM quickly tied up the game out of the break with an Abbie Letz three-point field goal, but the Cowgirls came back with six unanswered to regain a six point lead 33-27. Both teams struggled offensively for several minutes until a Lindsay Arndt layup broke that up at the 13-minute mark of the half. New Mexico pulled even closer with a basket to bring them to within two, 34-32, but the Cowgirls continued to maintain a lead. There was no quit in the Lobos as they came back with a 9-1 scoring run to take a lead since the first half, 41-37. An Ashley Elliott layup pulled the Cowgirls to within two, but a couple baskets from UNM put them up by six. The Lobos continued to control the game with about two minutes left, but a three-point play from Kristen Lenhardt pulled them to within three with 1:30 to go, 45-42. Unfortunately, their comeback would fall short as they would fall by the final of 51-44.

"It was a battle today and we tried the best we could against the No. 1 seed," said head coach Joe Legerski. "New Mexico is very talented and in the end down the stretch they were able to make the plays that we weren't able to, and I give them a great deal of credit for doing that. I'm also very pleased with the effort from my team to be able to come in here and have an opportunity with a minute left in the ball game and still have a shot to tie the ball game."

Wyoming was led by Kristen Lenhardt who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. She was 5-8 from the field and 6-8 from the charity stripe. For the second game in a row, freshman Michelle Lieber recorded a double-double with eleven points and ten rebounds. The Cowgirls were 13-44 (.295) from the field and shot a disappointing 4-18 (.222) from the three-point line.

Lindsay Arndt led all scorers for New Mexico as she finished with 16 points along with nine rebounds. Forward Melissa Forest finished the game with 13 rebounds along with chipping in eight points. The Lobos were 18-48 (.375) from the field while out rebounding the Cowgirls 37-28.

The Cowgirls finish the 2003-04 season 11-18 overall and a 6-8 mark in the Mountain West Conference.