Wyoming Basketball Wins Big In Home Opener, 86-53, Over Idaho

Nov. 9, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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Behind a 22-point performance from Chaundra Sewell, the Cowgirl basketball team exploded for a 33-point win, 86-53, over the Idaho Vandals, on Friday night in Laramie.

Sewell led the way with a game high 22 points and seven rebounds. Ashley Sickles followed with 17 points while Kayla Woodward chipped in 14 points. Alison Gorrell also finished with a team high seven rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 31-61 (.508) from the field and an impressive 17-20 (.850) from the free throw line. They also out rebounded the Vandals 41-34.

Idaho was led by Christina Salvatore with 12 points in her 23 minutes of play. Ali Forde added seven points and a game high 11 rebounds for the night. The Vandals shot 17-59 (.288) from the field and 4-21 (.190) from beyond the arc.

"That's probably been the most impressive of an opener I've been a part of," said head coach Joe Legerski. "To have the ability to play nine players double-digit minutes tonight and to get the production off the bench was impressive. We had 36 points in the paint, got the ball inside with our motion offense and everyone contributed. We talked about execution, coming off ball screens and taking away their three point shooters which I thought we did tonight."

Wyoming jumped out early with seven straight points with five of them coming from Ashley Sickles. The Vandals battled their way back into it with a 7-2 run to make the score 9-7. A three-point play and three-point basket extended the Cowgirls lead back to six, 15-9. Idaho answered with a Christina Salvatore three-point basket to inch closer, 15-12. Wyoming responded by running off 11 of the next 15 points to increase the lead to double-figures, 26-16. A basket by Krissy Karr would end a four minute drought for the Vandals and started a small run to pull them to within six, 26-20, with 5:36 remaining in the first half. In the final five minutes of the half, the Cowgirls started by a Kayla Woodward basket went on an 11-7 run to take a 37-27 lead into the lockerroom.

Ashley Sickles led all scorers at halftime with 13 points in her 16 minutes of play. Chaunda Sewell followed with seven points and a team high three rebounds. Fallon Lewis also brought down three boards. The Cowgirls shot 15-34 (.441) from the fieldand had 20 rebounds. Idaho was led by Stacey Barr with seven points, while Ali Forde recorded seven rebounds.

The momentum stayed on the side of the Cowgirls to begin the second half as two points from Kaitlyn Mileto and four points from Chaundra Sewell pulled them ahead by 16, 43-27. Idaho tried to close the gap by scoring 10 of the next 14 to make it a ten-point contest, 47-37. Nine straight points by Wyoming started by an Ashley Sickles three-point field goal helped them extend the lead back to 19, 56-37. Two free throws from Ali Forde and some pressure on defense by the Vandals chipped away at the deficit making it a 14 point game, 60-46, with 11 minutes remaining. Over the next seven minute stretch, the Cowgirls built the lead back to 28, 77-49, as the Vandals scored only three points. A free throw by Connie Ballestero ended the Vandals scoring struggles, but the Cowgirls lead was never in jeopardy as they went on to the impressive 86-53 victory.

Wyoming will be back in action next Friday, Nov. 16, as they host the Denver Pioneers. The game is set for 5:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.