Big Early Lead Carries Cowgirl Hoops Over Aztecs

Jan. 22, 2005

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Laramie, Wyoming - The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team improved their record to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in the MWC as they cruised to an easy 69-43 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs (6-9 overall, 1-2 in the MWC), on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.

The Cowgirls were led by freshman Hanna Zavecz who had a game high 16 points, along with three rebounds. She was 7-11 (.636) from the field and 2-2 (1.00) from beyond the arc. Guard Erin Hicks followed with nine points, a team high eight rebounds and five assists, while Ashley Elliott recorded nine assists while chipping in eight points. In only her second game back, forward Kristen Lenhardt finished the game with eight points and two rebounds. Wyoming shot 25-44 (.568) from the field for the game, including an amazing 13-19 (.684) in the first half, 6-12 (.500) from beyond the arc and 13-15 (.867) from the charity stripe.

The Aztecs were led by Michelle Strawberry, who finished with a game high 12 points in 29 minutes. She was followed by Jordie Smith with seven points off the bench, Jessica Huettl with six and Veronica Shaw and Ashley Cheesman with five points. Smith was the Aztecs leading rebounder with five. San Diego State struggled as they shot 15-45 (.333) for the game and a dismal 3-11 (.273) from beyond the arc, while committing 20 turnovers.

Junior Erin Hicks had nine points, a team high eight rebounds and five assists. (Matt Young photo)

Wyoming led from the opening tap as they ran off 18 straight points to begin the game. San Diego State couldn't find the bottom of the basket until the 9:46 mark of the first half and didn't reach double-digits until the 3:15 point. In fact, the Cowgirls would hold the Aztecs to only 15 first half points, which tied their lowest total of the season that they've held an opponent, to take an impressive 39-15 lead in to the locker room.

Hanna Zavecz finished the half with 11 points for the Cowgirls while Michelle Strawberry was the leading scorer with nine points for the Aztecs. Wyoming shot 13-19 (.684) from the field compared to 6-21 (.286) for San Diego State.

The Cowgirl lead was never in doubt in the second half as their point margin increased to as many as 29 points as they would run away with the 69-43 victory.

"We talked about focusing on our offense today, and it's really easy when a couple of early shots fall and the confidence level rises," said head coach Joe Legerski. "I thought Hanna (Zavecz) did a tremendous job today. She came out and established herself offensively. It was nice to see Kristen Lenhardt to make some shots as she's trying to work her way back in after being out for two weeks. Once you build that type of lead like we did the key is to keep the team focused and maintain that."

Wyoming will continue Mountain West Conference play next week on the road as they will travel down to Ft. Collins to face the Colorado State Rams, on Friday night, at 7:00 p.m.