Jan. 13, 2005
Provo, Utah - The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (10-4 overall, 1-0 in the MWC) started off MWC play with a 74-63 win against the Brigham Young Cougars (9-5 overall, 0-1 in the MWC) on Thursday night in Provo. It's the first time since Feb. 14, 1998 that the Cowgirls have defeated the Cougars in Provo.
After an early basket by BYU's Julie Sullivan gave the Cougars an early lead, Wyoming scored the next eight of ten to take their first lead of the game, 8-4. BYU quickly pulled to within two, but an 8-5 run from the Cowgirls helped them regain a seven point advantage, 16-9. Wyoming hit a bit of a scoring drought as the Cougars scored six straight points to pull within one, and eventually tied it up at 18 all. It was the Cowgirls turn to respond with three baskets of their own to go back up by six, 24-18. The Cougars wouldn't go away as they made another run in which free throws brought them to within one, but Wyoming closed out the half on a 5-0 run to go in to the locker room with a 32-26 lead.
Freshman forward Hanna Zavecz led all scorers in the first half with 17 points for the Cowgirls. She was followed by Ashley Elliott with seven and four other Cowgirls with two points. Senior Sara Hippen was the leading rebounder with five. Wyoming was 11-30 (.367) from the field and a perfect 6-6 (1.00) from the charity stripe.
BYU had two players with six points in Julie Sullivan and Ambrosia Anderson, while Kristen Kozlowski finished the half with six rebounds. The Cougars were 10-31 (.323) from the field, while out rebounding the Cowgirls 21-19.
It was fast and furious out of the break as the two teams traded baskets and combined for 34 points in the first four and a half minutes which allowed the Cowgirls to build an eight point lead, 50-42. Wyoming continued to increase their lead into double-digits, 62-46, with a 12-4 run over a six minute time period, while the Cougars struggled to make a shot. With that same score, BYU tried to make one final push with a 9-3 run to pull within single digits, 64-55. The Cowgirls kept their composure and closed out the game with free throws to take their first conference win of the season, 74-63.
Wyoming was led by freshman Hanna Zavecz who finished with a career high 32 points and seven blocked shots, along with bringing down seven rebounds. She was 10-18 from the field and 4-7 from beyond the arc. She was followed by Ashley Elliott with 16 points and Erin Hicks with 11 points. Hicks also led the way in rebounding with nine. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 22-57 (.386) from the field and 21-25 (.840) from the charity stripe.
"We played with a lot of heart tonight," said head coach Joe Legerski. "We came out with a great deal of intensity, we discussed competing for the whole 40 minutes and I thought we did that. Erin Hicks came back and made some big shots for us when we needed it and the next thing you know our confidence was really growing on the floor. The clock couldn't have moved any quicker than it did.
"Hanna is a tough match up for people," added Legerski. "She can shoot the three, drive to the basket and when she got on a role there was more confidence."
The Cowgirls will continue conference play on the road as they travel to Salt Lake City to face the Utah Utes, on Saturday afternoon, at 3:00 p.m.