Jan. 4, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Behind 22 points from Justyna Podziemska and 17 from Hanna Zavecz, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (10-3 overall, 1-0 in the MWC) earned a 54-51 victory over the 25th ranked New Mexico Lobos (10-4 overall, 0-1 in the MWC) on Thursday night in Laramie.
To go with her team leading 22 points, Podziemska also finished the night with eight rebounds in 36 minutes of play. In addition to her 17 points, Zavecz followed with four rebounds and four steals, while Megan McGuffey chipped in seven points. Wyoming was 22-50 (.440) from the field and finished with 28 rebounds.
"The MWC is such a strong league and you have to defend your home court," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "It's not an easy task to start off the conference season against the defending champions. I thought at times we had some mental lapses and that's going to happen with a young group. We knew there would be runs made by New Mexico. We just had to make adjustments to those runs. I thought it was a great game."
Dionne Marsh was the leading scorer for the Lobos with 11, along with nine rebounds. Katie Montgomery finished with ten points and nine boards as well, while Brandi Kimble had nine points. The Lobos were 19-53 (.358) from the field and 11-18 (.611) from the free throw line.
Wyoming jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after two three-point field goals by Podziemska. They increased that margin to eight, 10-2, as the Lobos went over three minutes before hitting a basket. Wyoming went a little cold as UNM went on a 5-0 run to pull within three, 10-7. The Cowgirls responded with seven unanswered to regain a 17-8 advantage. New Mexico continued to battle as they scored six of nine to make it 20-15. Wyoming kept their composure and closed out the half on a 9-6 run to take a 29-21 lead in to the locker room.
The Lobos came out of the break and went on a 7-2 run to pull within three, 31-28. Wyoming hit a quick shot to end the run, but UNM scored six straight to take the lead for the first time in the game, 34-33. The Cowgirls responded with an 11-5 scoring run to back up five, 44-39. Unfortunately, New Mexico had other ideas scoring five straight to pull even at 44 with 6:56 remaining. Angela Harthill hit the next basket to put the Lobos up two, 46-44. Two baskets by Podziemska and one by McGuffey gave the Cowgirls a 50-46 lead. New Mexico would not go away and pulled to within one, 50-49 with 1:04 left on the clock. With under a minute left Montgomery would steal the ball and go in for the lay-up to make it 51-50 for UNM. On the Cowgirls next possession they would turn the ball over then sent Amy Beggin to the line who missed the front end of the one and one. With time winding down freshman Aubrey Vandiver drove the baseline and laid it up to put Wyoming up one, 52-51. With 12.2 seconds left, the Lobos went down, but turned the ball over as the Cowgirls hit two free throws to seal the 54-51 victory.
Wyoming will be on the road next week for two games as they take on the UNLV Lady Rebels, on Thursday, Jan. 11, in Las Vegas, and the BYU Cougars, on Saturday, Jan. 13, in Provo, Utah.