March 15, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (22-9, 11-5 in the MWC) opened up post season play in the WNIT with a dominating 84-56 victory against the Nevada Wolf Pack (17-14 overall, 10-6 in the WAC) on Thursday night in Laramie.
"Going in to tonight's game, I knew that we would play hard," said Cowgirl head coach Joe Legerski. "My question was how focused we were as a team from the disappointment of not getting an NCAA bid. When I look at our numbers and we shot 56% from the field, 84% from the free throw line, that tells me we were focused. When we shoot the ball well our confidence grows as a team. Jodi and Justyna were getting great looks at the basket and the ball was falling."
Five Cowgirls finished their night in double figures led by junior Jodi Bolerjack. She ended the game with 22 points and six rebounds, while shooting 6-10 from the field, 4-5 from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Justyna Podziemksa added 14 points, followed by Aubrey Vandiver with 13 points. Hanna Zavecz led the way with nine rebounds and 12 points while Megan McGuffey added ten points. Wyoming shot 27-48 (.563) from the field, 9-12 (.750) from the three point line and 21-25 (.840) from the free throw line.
Nevada was led by Dellena Criner who had 17 points followed by Jessica Preslar with 14. Preslar led the way with five rebounds. The Wolf Pack were 20-50 (.400) from the field and 10-16 (.625) from the free throw line.
Wyoming took an early 5-3 lead, but Nevada responded with a 5-0 scoring run to take their first lead of the game, 8-5. The Cowgirls answered back with 14 straight to take a double-figures advantage, 19-8, as the Wolf Pack went over seven minutes without scoring. Finally, two free throws and a basket broke the drought and brought the score to within seven, 19-12. UW would score the next 13 of 18 over the next three minutes to regain a 32-17 lead. After a basket by Nevada's Brandi Fitzgerald, the Cowgirls closed out the half on a 9-6 run to take a 41-25 lead in to the locker room.
Bolerjack led all scorers at the half with 12 points as she shot 3-5 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line. McGuffey added eight, while Zavecz and Vandiver had seven each. Wyoming shot 12-25 (.480) from the field and 14-14 (1.00) from the free throw line. Criner was the leading scorer for Nevada with 11 followed by several players with three. The Wolf Pack were 9-25 (.360) from the field and 4-8 (.500) from beyond the arc.
Right out of the break, Wyoming came out of the break by going on a 10-5 run to make the lead 21 points, 51-30. Over the next several minutes Nevada struggled on the offensive end as Wyoming extended the lead to 28 points, 69-41. It was never close after that as Wyoming held the Wolf Pack to just 15 points in the final ten minutes of the game as they went on to the 84-56 win.
The Cowgirls will continue play on Sunday, March 18, as they host the Missouri Tigers. The game is set to tip off at 2:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.