Cowgirls Fall Too Far Behind Cougars, Suffer First Home Loss

Feb. 15, 2007

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (16-7 overall, 7-4 in the MWC) lost their first game at home this season, falling 69-62 against the BYU Cougars (18-6 overall, 9-2 in the MWC) on Thursday night in Laramie.

"Offensively, we talked about that we needed to shoot the ball well," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "BYU plays well defensively, it was going to be a physical game and you have to be focused. The struggle for us was that every shot from any spot on the court seemed to be difficult for us. We needed to shoot the ball better and we didn't do that. Tonight's game was a big one and we haven't been in many. I felt their team came out with a lot of confidence and we let the game get away from us."

Three Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures including junior Jodi Bolerjack. She recorded a team high 20 points while shooting 6-15 from the field and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. Justyna Podziemska chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds followed by Hanna Zavecz with 11 points and ten rebounds, which led the team. Wyoming struggled shooting only 17-60 (.283) from the field and 4-22 (.182) from beyond the arc.

BYU was led by Mallary Gillespie with a game high 31 points. Shawnee Slade had 15, while Dani Wright recorded 13. Wright and Melinda Johnsen both finished with a team high seven rebounds. The Cougars were 24-47 (.511) from the field and 13-20 (.650) from the free throw line.

After the Cowgirls scored the first point of the game, the Cougars went on a 9-2 scoring run to open up a 9-3 advantage. Wyoming responded with six straight to pull within one, 10-9, unfortunately BYU hit two baskets to make it 14-9. The Cowgirls would make it a two point game, 16-14, but eight unanswered by the Cougars gave them a double-digit lead, 24-14 with just over nine minutes remaining. UW went cold on the offensive end until Zavecz would break a six minute scoring drought, except by that time the Cougars had extended the lead to 13, 29-16. Despite playing even the remainder of the half, BYU would take a 36-22 lead in to the locker room.

At the half Wyoming was led by Zavecz who finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Bolerjack followed with five and Dominique Sisk with four points. The Cowgirls were 6-23 (.261) from the field and just 1-10 (.100) from beyond the arc. BYU was led by Gillespie with 19 points, while Johnsen had four rebounds. The Cougars were 15-28 (.536) from the field and 6-13 (.462) from beyond the arc.

The Cowgirls made a 7-4 run to begin the half to pull within 11 points, 40-29, but BYU answered by scoring the next 12 of 14 to make their lead 21, 52-31. Over the next several minutes, the two teams traded baskets back and forth as BYU continued to maintain their lead. With the score 56-35 in Cougars favor, the Cowgirls went on a 15-4 run to make it a 10-point game, 60-50, with 2:42 on the clock. BYU would finally get off the 60 point mark after a Slade jumper, which broke a four minute scoring drought for the Cougars. Wyoming made one final push as four free throws and two three-point field goals by Bolerjack brought them to within five, 67-62, with 17 seconds on the clock. Unfortunately free throws would seal the 69-62 victory for BYU.

Wyoming will continue Mountain West Conference play on the road this week. They will travel to San Diego to take on the San Diego State Aztecs, on Sunday, February 18 beginning at 3:00 p.m. MT.