Courtesy Wyoming Media Relations
The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (24-8 overall, 12-4 MW) had the 2012-13 season ended in the first round of the WNIT with an eight point loss, 71-63, against the Northern Colorado Bears (21-12 overall, 15-5 Big Sky) on Thursday night in Laramie.
"I thought with tonight's game we talked that we had to have energy like every night out," said head coach Joe Legerski. "Everyone also has to understand that teams playing at this time of year have won at a high level. I give a great deal of credit to Northern Colorado. They came out played with a great deal of energy. A big sequence was we were down five missed the front end of a one and one and UNC came down and closed out the half on a 9-0 run. We fought in the second half and our energy level changed. The crowd was awesome, got into the game and we were able to close the gap to four. The difference to close out this game was from the free throw line. Northern Colorado was 17-20 (.850) and we were 16-29 (.552) and that is a big part of tournament winning."
Three Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by senior Chaundra Sewell. She recorded a team high 17 points and eight rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Fallon Lewis recorded a career high 15 points off the bench while Ashley Sickles added 13. Wyoming shot 20-52 (.385) from the field and out rebounded the Bears, 34-33, but shot just 16-29 (.552) from the free throw line.
Northern Colorado was led by Lauren Oosdyke with 16 points, while D'shara Strange and Lindsay Mallon each recorded 15 points. Strange also led the way with five rebounds. They were 25-51 (.490) from the field and 17-20 (.850)
A basket by D'shara Strange got the Bears on the scoreboard first in the game, but Wyoming responded with six points to go ahead by four, 6-2. Strange would pull Northern Colorado even at seven by scoring five of the six to tie the score at seven all. The two teams would trade baskets as UNC took an 11-9 lead going into the first media timeout. Out of the break, Chelan Landry made a three-point play to give Wyoming a one point lead, 12-11, which was answered with a Bear basket to get them ahead 13-12. Started by a Chaundra Sewell jumper, Wyoming would go on a 7-4 run to make it a two point contest, 19-17. The Bears answered back with a nine straight to help them regain the lead, 26-19. A free throw by Landry ended a three-minute scoring drought for UW. They would try and cut into the lead and pulled to within five, 28-23, with 3:39 remaining in the half. Northern Colorado would close out the half on a 9-0 run to take a 37-23 lead in to the locker room.
Sewell led all scorers for the Cowgirls with nine along with three rebounds. Fallon Lewis followed with five points and Chelan Landry added four. They were 8-21 (.381) from the field and 5-11 (.455) from the free throw line. For the Bears, Strange finished with 13 points and four rebounds while Timm followed her with seven. They were 15-28 (.536) from the field and out rebounded Wyoming 19-12.
The Cowgirls came out of the half and cut into the Northern Colorado with a 7-2 run to pull within nine, 39-30, through the first media timeout. A basket by Strange would end a three-minute scoreless drought for both teams to get the lead back to double-figures, 41-30. A three-point basket by Lewis on the next possession ended the field goal drought by Wyoming. The Bears responded with five of the next seven to make it 46-35 through the under 12 media timeout. Free throws by Ashley Sickles would start an 8-2 run by the Cowgirls to close the gap to five, 48-43. Mallon hit a shot to slow down the Wyoming offense but three straight free throws made it a four point game, 50-46, with 7:57 left in the game. A three-point field goal by Oosdyke increased the lead back to seven, 53-46. Over the next several possessions, the two teams traded scores and the Cowgirls couldn't gain any ground as UNC continued to lead 61-51 with 3:39 left in the game. Wyoming would try and make one final push going on a 9-4 run to make it a five point contest, 65-60, with 42 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, the Bears hit their final six free throws and the Cowgirls couldn't make enough shots as they fell short 71-63.