The Wyoming women’s basketball team will open up the 2016-17 exhibition season on Friday when it hosts the South Dakota Mines Hardrockers. The game is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium. Live stats, audio and video can be found on the GoWyo.com website.
Fans may purchase tickets through the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 307-766-7220 or online at GoWyo.com.
Entering his 14th year, head coach Joe Legerski welcomes back four starters and 11 letterwinners from a team that went 13-16 overall and 6-12 in the Mountain West a season ago. The squad is comprised of one senior, four juniors, seven sophomores and three freshmen. Of those 11 returning letterwinners, nine of them played in 14 games or more in 2015-16.
The top returning players are juniors Natalie Baker and Liv Roberts, plus sophomore Marta Gomez. Roberts averaged 10.1 points and 5.8 rebounds a season ago, while Baker chipped in 8.8 points and a team leading 5.9 boards. In her first season with the program, Gomez averaged 10.7 points and 4.7 rebounds which landed her on the All-MW freshmen team.
Eight other returning letterwinners who will be key in the Cowgirls success is senior Hailey Ligocki, juniors Marleah Campbell and Skyler Snodgrass, sophomores Bailee Cotton, Riikka Kujala, Coreen Labish, Tijana Raca and Rachelle Tucker.
Ligocki started in 17 games averaging 4.3 points and 1.4 assists while Campbell chipped in 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds. Cotton played in eight games before suffering a season ending injury and Snodgrass saw time in 25 games and added three points per contest.
Kujala played in 23 games in her first season with the team followed by Tucker in 22 contest and 2.5 points per game. Raca averaged 1.3 points in her 14 games of action and Labish played in four contests.
The Cowgirls welcome four newcomers to the squad; Daley Handy (6-0, G, Wichita, Kansas) who sat out last season with an injury; Selale Kepenc (6-2, F, Istanbul, Turkey); Taylor Rusk (5-11, F, Highlands Rach, Colo.); Clara Tapia (5-7, G, Barcelona, Spain).
Friday night’s game will be the second game of the season for the South Dakota Mines who will play Utah on Wednesday night. The Hardrockers return two starters and nine letterwinners to a team that went 10-16 overall and 7-15 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference a year ago. The top returner for South Dakota Mines is Megan Roherer who averaged 14.1 points and 5.7 rebounds. The two teams have met twice during the regular season with Wyoming holding a 2-0 lead in the series. The Hardrockers are coached by Ryan Larsen.