Jan. 13, 2007
PROVO, Utah -
After falling behind 13 at the halftime break, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team's (10-5 overall, 1-2 in the MWC) comeback would fall short as they fell 55-52 against the BYU Cougars (12-4 overall, 3-0 in the MWC) on Saturday afternoon in Provo.
For the second time this season the Cowgirls lost on a half-court heave by their opponent. Wyoming would tie the game in the closing seconds, but BYU's Jennie Keele hit a long three point try to give the Cougars the win. UW lost earlier this season on a last second shot at Kansas State.
"I thought it was a tremendous effort for our kids to come back the way they did tonight," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "Aubrey Vandiver did a great job coming in off the bench and scoring 15 points. Like I said before, we need more people to come in and contribute besides Hanna and Justyna, and I felt that Aubrey and Megan McGuffey did that. We also can't keep getting ourselves in to a hole against tough teams like this."
Four Cowgirls finished the game in double-figures including the freshman Vandiver. She recorded a career high 15 points and six rebounds. Hanna Zavecz finished with 12 points followed by Justyna Podziemska with 11 and McGuffey with ten. Podziemska was the leading rebounder with seven. As a team, they were 16-45 (.356) from the field and 11-16 (.688) from the free throw line.
BYU was led by Dani Wright who finished with 12 points. Two players, Keele and Shawnee Slade, both had 11. The Cougars were 23-50 (.460) from the field and out rebounded Wyoming 35-27.
BYU would score the first basket of the game about two and a half minutes into it, but Wyoming would hit two three-point field goals to take their first lead of the game 6-4. The Cougars responded with a 12-1 run, including four points from Wright, to give them a nine-point advantage, 16-7. The Cowgirls were cold from the field with their only point coming from the free throw line in a span of seven minutes. Finally, Wyoming would get two free throws from Jodi Bolerjack to break the drought while a basket by Zavecz pulled the Cowgirls to within six, 17-11 with under nine minutes to go in the half. Unfortunately, a 10-0 run by BYU extended their lead to 16 points, 27-11. The Cowgirls tried to battle back by out scoring the Cougars in the final three minutes of the half, 9-6, but BYU would still take a 33-20 lead in to the locker room.
Zavecz was the leading scorer for the Cowgirls at half time with eight points followed by Podziemska with six points and a team leading four rebounds. Wyoming was 6-21 (.286) from the field, while committing 11 turnovers. BYU was led by Wright who finished with eight points. Slade followed with seven and Lauren Riley with five. Melinda Johnsen was the team's leading rebounder with five. As a team, they were 14-29 (.483) from the field.
The Cougars came out of the half time break and scored six straight points while the Cowgirls went over four minutes before a McGuffey three-point field goal would fall for them to make it a 16-point game, 39-23. Both teams went several minutes without scoring until two free throws by Wright broke that as the Cowgirls continued to struggle shooting the ball. With the score 41-23 in favor of the Cougars, Wyoming went on an 8-2 run to pull within 12, 43-31, with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. The two teams traded a couple of baskets until two three point field goals by the Cowgirls brought them to within eight, 49-41 with five minutes left. Wyoming continued to battle back as they hit three free throws and a Zavecz layup pulled them to within three, 49-46, unfortunately a huge three point field goal by Keele put the Cougars back up six, 52-46. Vandiver answered with a three-point field goal of her own to make it 52-49 with just over two minutes left. BYU would go down on the next possession and turn it over. The Cowgirls would come down and McGuffey was fouled and hit one of two free throws to make the score 52-50. With time running down, Vandiver would drive the baseline to tie it up with 2.2 seconds remaining. BYU would in bound the ball and Keele would put up a half court shot which would drop giving the Cougars a 55-52 victory.
Wyoming will host two conference opponents coming up next week. They welcome the San Diego State Aztecs, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, while the TCU Lady Frogs will face the Cowgirls on Saturday, Jan. 20. Both games will be played in the Arena Auditorium with the San Diego State game set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. and the TCU game starting at 2:00 p.m.