Cowgirls reach 21 wins after Air Force drubbing

From Wyoming Athletics

LARAMIE — The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (21-6 overall, 10-4 MW) collected the season sweep with an 88-63 win over the Air Force Academy Falcons (4-22 overall, 3-10 MW) on Wednesday night in Laramie.

“Defensively we got off to a great start,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “Not only did we limit Air Force to one shot and out but I thought we got a hand up on everything which led us to our transition. The big key was the ability to attack their press. We knew they would keep the pressure on for 40 minutes. We only had eight turnovers but we attacked it and were able to convert on the offensive end.

“Kayla shot the ball with a great deal of confidence and made a lot of plays. Ashley Sickles went 7-8 from the field and Chaundra with a quiet 12 points and played above everyone else. I was also happy with the way we got bench play.”

Four Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by sophomore Kayla Woodward. She recorded 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes. Ashley Sickles chipped in 16, shooting 7-8 from the field. Kaitlyn Mileto followed with 13 and Chaundra Sewell added 12 and a game high 12 rebounds. Wyoming shot 33-63 (.524) from the field and 9-20 (.450) from beyond the arc. They outreboundeded the Falcons 36-31.

Katie Hilbig led the way for the Falcons with 17 points and eight rebounds. She was followed by Alicia Leipprandt with 12 points and six boards, while Dymond James also recorded six rebounds. Air Force was 28-62 (.452) from the field and 6-9 (.667) from the free throw line.

The Cowgirls will play their final conference game Saturday against the New Mexico Lobos. The game is set for 2 p.m. and the three Wyoming seniors will be honored prior to tip-off.

The Cowgirls got in the scoring column first with baskets from Woodward and Sickles to go ahead by five. Alicia Leipprandt hit a shot for Air Force on the next possession to make it 5-2. Both teams would go cold after that as the Cowgirls went about three minutes until a layup from Chaundra Sewell.

That would start an 8-0 run over the next two minutes to increase the Wyoming lead to 11, 13-2. The Falcons had a five minute scoreless stretch stopped by a shot by Katie Hilbig. They would close the gap to seven, 13-6, with a field goal from Leipprandt.

Two straight three-point field goals and a layup increased the lead back to 15, 21-6. Hilbig ended the run, but UW scored four of the next six to give them a 25-10 advantage with 7:23 left in the half. Over the next four minutes, the Cowgirls ran off nine unanswered to give them a 24-point lead, 34-10. Madeleine Philpot and Cherae Medina scored four of the next six points to make it 36-14.

The Cowgirls closed out the half on a 4-0 to take a 40-14 lead into the locker room. Leipprandt scored the four of the first six points for the Falcons to begin the second half, but the Cowgirls went on a 7-4 run to give them a 27-point advantage, 49-22.

The Cowgirls maintained a 20-plus point advantage throughout the second half on the way to the win. At one point two straight baskets by the Falcons brought it to a 21-point game, 60-39, but the Cowgirls scored 11 unanswered to increase the lead back to 32.

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