Missoula, Mont. (Dec. 6, 2012) — Behind a season high 18 points from Ashley Sickles, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (6-1 overall) pulled out the 58-56 victory over the Montana Lady Griz (5-3 overall), on Thursday night, in Missoula.
“We talked at the start of the game tonight that these are two talented teams,” said head coach Joe Legerski. “Both have the ability to score inside and out, have tremendous players that can step up and it will come down to whether we are in it in the final four minutes. Out of the last timeout, it was even throughout the entire game and it came down to the final four minutes. Ashley Sickles made a big play with a shot along the baseline with the clock going down and after the timeout Kayla hit a big three. To Montana’s credit they kept coming back and even at the end they would steal the ball and had an opportunity to tie it up or win the game. We need to do a better job of getting the ball in bounds. We did just enough to come out of here with a win.”
Ashley Sickles led all scorers for the Cowgirls as she recorded a season high 18 points and nine rebounds. She was 6-15 from the field and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. Kayla Woodward and Chaundra Sewelll each chipped in 14 points while pulling down nine and seven rebounds respectively. Wyoming shot 21-45 (.467) from the field while out rebounding Montana 41-29. Unfortunately, they committed 20 turnovers which resulted in 23 points for the Lady Griz.
Kenzie De Boer led all scorers for the game with 29 for Montana. She also had four rebounds and two assists in her 33 minutes of action. Jordan Sullivan added 10 points and four boards followed by two others with six points. They were 23-65 (.354) from the field and 4-9 (.444) from the free throw line.
The Cowgirls jumped out early with two straight baskets by Sewell to give them a 4-0 advantage. Kenzie De Boer got the Lady Griz on the board, but Wyoming responded with five of the next seven to extend the lead to five, 9-4. A three-point field goal brought Montana to within two, 9-7, through the first media timeout. A quick basket by Ashley Sickles put UW back ahead by four, 11-7, which was answered with a 6-2 run by the Lady Griz pulled them even at 13 all. Out of the media timeout, Fallon Lewis scored the next five points to extend the lead back to five, 18-13. De Boer hit a jumper to end a four minute scoring drought for Montana. The Cowgirls answered with a three-point field from Sickles giving them a six point advantage, 21-15 with six minutes left in the half. Montana continued to chip away at the lead as they ran off 9 of the next 12 to tie up the score at 24. Neither team could really get anything going in the final minutes of the half, but two free throws by Kaitlyn Mileto gave Wyoming a 26-24 lead going into the locker room.
It was all Cowgirls to begin the second half as they scored eight straight points including two three-point field goals by Kayla Woodward to give them a double-figure lead, 34-24. A jumper from Alyssa Smith would end the Wyoming run and start a small one for the Lady Griz to bring pull them to within five, 36-31. Baskets by Sewell and Woodward helped the Cowgirls increase the lead back to six, 40-34. De Boer responded with four points of her own to close the gap to two, 40-38, with 13 minutes left in the game. A basket from Sickles would begin a 7-0 run to increase the Cowgirls lead back to nine, 47-38. A free throw by Alexandra Hurley stopped the run and then a basket by Carly Selvig made it a six point contest, 47-41. The Lady Griz would continue to chip away by scoring eight of the next ten to tie it up at 49. Two free throws by Sewell ended a four minute by Wyoming to make it 51-49. On the next possession down the court, De Boer earned a three-point play to give Montana their first lead of the game, 52-51, with 3:55 to go in the game. Ashley Sickles responded with four straight points to put Wyoming back up by three, 55-52. Jordan Sullivan hit a shot to make it a one point game, 55-54. Next time down the court, Kayla Woodward hit a huge three-point shot giving the Cowgirls a four point advantage, 58-54. Montana would get three opportunities at the basket and on the last attempt De Boer hit a jumper with nine seconds left on the clock. A steal by Torry Hill gave the Lady Griz a final chance to tie or win the game. A missed shot by De Boer gave the Cowgirls the 58-56 victory.
Wyoming will close out the weekend as they travel to Bozeman to face the Montana State Bobcats. The game is set for 2:00 p.m. Live stats can be followed on www.gowyo.com.