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Cowgirls pass test vs. Weber

Dec 16, 2012 - Associate Press

(AP) -- For 37 minutes, the University of Wyoming Cowgirls played like they were just coming off finals week. For about three minutes, the Cowgirls played like they had most of the season.

That was more than enough against winless Weber State.

Wyoming used a 14-2 run over the final 3 minutes, 2 seconds of the first half to blow open a close game, and cruised in the second half for a 77-62 victory before a crowd of 3,352.

Wyoming improved to 8-1 this season, the seventh time in UW women's basketball history the program has started this well. Weber State fell to 0-8 and 2-35 over the last 37 games.

"With finals we're all pretty exhausted," UW sophomore forward Kayla Woodard said. Woodward tied a season high with 20 points to lead the Cowgirls on 8 of 16 shooting from the field. "We're all relieved now, but this week was just so stressful for all of us. They're (Weber State) record is deceiving and the score throughout the game really didn't show how it was."

The Cowgirls grinded their way to a 30-25 lead with just over three minutes left in the first half, then exploded on offense.

UW made its last five shots of the half, capped by a long 3-pointer by sophomore Kaitlyn Mileto at the buzzer, for its 14-2 run and a 44-27 halftime lead.

Weber State scored the first six points of the second half to cut the margin to 11, but a 15-4 Cowgirls run pushed the lead to 21 points and the Wildcats never got closer down the stretch than the final score.

"It's hard when teams are pressing and trapping for you to ever relax," UW coach Joe Legerski said. "A quick steal here or there gets the momentum going in a hurry. "

I thought we were on our heels to start the second half. Then we got aggressive again."

Mileto added 18 points and four assists for UW and continued her hot hand from behind the 3-point arc. Mileto, who came into the game ranked fourth in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage, was 3 of 6 on 3-pointers as the Cowgirls shot 7 of 18 as a team from deep.

Senior forward Ashley Sickles scored 14 points. Senior forward Chaundra Sewell chipped in nine points, a team-high 11 rebounds and tied a career high with five blocked shots in just 21 minutes due to some first half foul trouble.

It was the fourth time in the last five games Sewell has had double-digit rebounds.

As a team the Cowgirls outrebounded the Wildcats 44-30.

Wyoming also got a nice effort off the bench from junior Fallon Lewis. Lewis, who played just four minutes on last weekend's Montana road trip due to an ankle sprain, tied a season high with nine points and had five rebounds.

"I thought Fallon gave us a big lift in the first half," Legerski said. "Chaundra was in foul trouble and Fallon came in and gave us points, rebounds and played very well."

Jalen Carpenter led Weber State with 13 points.

The Cowgirls now hit the road for a two-game eastern swing, starting with Bowling Green at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Thiam suffers injury

UW redshirt freshman Fatima Thiam will again miss the season due to a knee injury.

The 6-foot-6 Thiam, who redshirted last season with an ACL tear, injured the ACL in her other knee during practice on Thursday.

Thiam had played in one game so far this season.

Legerski said after the game UW hopes to be able to get a medical redshirt season for Thiam.

Free throws

Wyoming has now won the last five games against Weber State and holds a 16-14 all-time series lead. ... The 44 points Wyoming scored in the first 20 minutes was a season high for a first half. ... Mileto moved into a tie for No. 18 all-time at UW in 3-pointers. She now has 68. ... With two blocks, Sickles moved into No. 12 all-time with 59. ... Friday's game was the third straight for the Cowgirls against a Big Sky opponent.

MVP: UW sophomore Kayla Woodward tied a season high with 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds -- six offensive -- to help lead the Cowgirls to the win.

Wyoming again got great balance in the scoring column with five players scoring at least nine points.

The Cowgirls head back on the road for a two-game trip to the Midwest.

They will play at Bowling Green on Sunday at 11 a.m. and at Ball State on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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