Cougars Capture 59-50 Win Over Wyoming

Nov. 24, 2003

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Washington State's Kate Benz scored 19 points and Bianca McCall added 16 to lead the Cougars to a 59-50 win over the Wyoming Cowgirls in women's basketball action, Monday at Arena Auditorium.

With the win, the Cougars improved to 2-0 marking the first time since the 1998-99 campaign that WSU began a season with consecutive victories. The Cougars opened up the 1998-99 season with five straight wins.

It also marked the first road win for WSU since a 77-76 win at Oregon, Feb. 15, 2001, a span of 28 games.

'The key to the game tonight was when we came back in the first half,' WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. 'We came back in the first half and we never looked back.'

A 6-0 run staked the Cougars to an early 6-3 lead but the Cowgirls responded with a 12-0 run of their own to take a 15-6 lead at the 11:57 mark of the first half.

Gradually, WSU eroded Wyoming's advantage and tied the game at 22 on a McCall bucket with 2:40 remaining.

After the teams exchanged baskets, Stephanie Singer drained a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining to give the Cougars a 27-24 lead at the half.

Wyoming made five of its first 11 shots but finished the first half 3-of-14. Conversely, WSU was 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) in the first half.

The momentum carried over in the second stanza as the Cougars extended their three-point halftime advantage to 13 (39-26) with 14:58 remaining. Benz, who scored eight in the first half, added six more during the Cougars' 12-2 run.

Wyoming would not go away, however, as it responded with a 9-0 run to close WSU's advantage to 39-35 with 11:13 left. The final eight points of the run were accounted for by Ashley Elliott, who hit back-to-back 3-pointers along with a pair of free throws. Elliott would finish the game with 21 points.

Wyoming would close to within three at 43-40 but the Cougars stymied Wyoming's threat when Charmaine Jones made good on a three-point play to increase WSU's lead back to six with 6:04 left.

Despite Elliot's best efforts (she scored eight points in the final 4:47) Wyoming would get no closer than four the rest of the game.

For the game, WSU shot 25-of-47 (52.2 percent) and out-rebounded Wyoming 30-27.

WSU returns to action at Eastern Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m. Pacific.
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