Despite career nights from Jordan Kelley and Jordan Sibrel, the Wyoming women’s basketball team (5-6 overall, 0-1 MW) lost its conference opener, 58-55, against the UNLV Lady Rebels (4-8 overall, 1-0 MW) on Wednesday afternoon.
Sibrel led the way with a career-high 14 points plus six rebounds while shooting 7-of-8 from the field. Kelley recorded her first double-double with a career-high ten points and 14 rebounds. Senior forward Kayla Woodward and senior guard Kaitlyn Mileto each finished with 12 points. The Cowgirls were 24-of-69 (.348) from the field and 4-of-26 (.154) from beyond the arc.
“I thought the play of Jordan Kelley and Jordan Sibrel gave us an opportunity to win tonight,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “Jordan Kelley got a double-double in her start and Jordan Sibrel converted when given the opportunity. We played with adversity due to foul trouble and people off the bench had to step up and did. UNLV made some plays down the end which was the difference in the ball game.”
Guard Danielle Miller finished the night with a game-high 26 points for UNLV while shooting 12-of-18 from the field. Aley Rohde led the way with 11 rebounds. The Lady Rebels were 25-of-67 (.373) from the field and 4-of-10 (.400) from beyond the arc.
Three baskets out of the halftime break gave the Cowgirls a five point lead, 32-27. UNLV responded with a 7-0 run to regain a two-point advantage, 34-32. A field goal by Sibrel would end a five-minute scoring drought to even up the score at 34 all. The teams traded scores over the next couple of minutes as the Lady Rebels took a 38-36 lead into the under 12 minute timeout. Woodard and Sibrel scored the next 12 points for Wyoming to help the Cowgirls regain an eight-point advantage, 48-40. Miller hit a basket for UNLV to end a five-minute scoring drought for the Lady Rebels with 5:12 left in the game. With the score 50-42 in favor of Wyoming, UNLV scored the ten straight points to make it 52-50. A big three by Mileto gave the lead back to Wyoming, 53-52, which was answered with a three by Johnson to give the Lady Rebels a two-point lead, 55-53. After a missed shot by the Cowgirls, a big shot from Miller seemed to put the game out of reach 58-53. A basket and steal by Dent gave the Cowgirls the ball with 19.8 to go in the game down three. Unfortunately, several looks at the basket wouldn’t drop as Wyoming would fall 58-55.
It was a slow start for both teams until a basket by Kelley got the Cowgirls on the scoreboard first. After a three-minute drought for both teams, two straight field goals by Woodward made it 6-0. The Lady Rebels finally got in the scoring column at the 14:19 mark with a basket from Charles. Wyoming responded with a 5-0 run to take an 11-2 run into the first timeout. Out of the break, UNLV cut into the deficit with a 6-1 run to pull to within four, 12-8. Started by a basket from Kelley, the Cowgirls scored six unanswered to give them a double-figure lead, 18-8. Two field goals from Miller would begin a 9-2 run to bring UNLV to within three, 20-17. Sibrel got a pass from Dent for a basket to end a three-minute drought, but the Lady Rebels scored eight of the next ten to take their first lead of the game, 25-24. Each team would trade late baskets with UNLV taking a 27-26 advantage into the locker room.
Mileto led all scorers for the Cowgirls with seven points followed by Kelley with six points and a team-high nine rebounds. Wyoming shot 11-of-28 (.289) from the field and 1-of-14 (.071) from beyond the arc. Both teams finished with 25 rebounds and combined for 23 turnovers. UNLV was led by Danielle Miller with eight points followed by Charles with six points. Amie Callaway recorded six rebounds. The Lady Rebels shot 12-of-33 (.364) from the field.
Wyoming will return home on Saturday to host the San Jose State Spartans. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.