March 18, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
In their opening game of the WNIT, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (21-8 overall) earned a 67-49 victory against the Oregon State Beavers (16-15 overall) on Saturday night in Laramie.
"I thought the energy tonight was excellent from the fans and the players," said Wyoming head coach Joe Legerski. "We knew going into tonight's ball game that it was going to be a battle for 40 minutes. We needed to push the ball and get up and down the floor. Hanna had a great week of practice. When she hit that first shot it just seemed to get going from there. I knew we couldn't play a half court game. Oregon State has too much size and they are a good team. We knew we had to get the pace going and I thought that was a big key tonight."
Four Cowgirls starters finished the night in double-figures, including two with double-doubles. Sophomore Hanna Zavecz had a team high 18 points and 13 rebounds, while freshman Megan McGuffey chipped in 13 points and a career high ten boards. Jodi Bolerjack had 13 points followed by Michelle Taylor with ten. Wyoming shot 23-57 (.404) from the field and 15-19 (.789) from the free throw line.
Oregon State was led by Kim Butler with 18 points and seven rebounds. Casey Nash had seven rebounds as well. The Beavers shot 19-51 (.373) from the field, but committed 17 turnovers.
After the Cowgirls hit the first basket of the game, Oregon State went on a 10-2 run to take a six point lead, 10-4. Michelle Taylor hit a shot to pull them to within four unfortunately the Beavers went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to double-figures, 17-6. The Cowgirls went over three minutes without a basket until Hanna Zavecz hit a shot, which started a 10-2 run to bring them to within three, 19-16. OSU would hit two free throws to go back up five, but Wyoming hit a quick shot to make it a three point game. Both teams would go several minutes with out scoring until a couple of free shots by the Beavers broke the scoring drought. The Cowgirls continued to battle back and scored five straight to even things up at 23 all. Oregon State quickly took the lead back, but Hanna Zavecz came back down and hit two three-point field goals to give the Cowgirls a 29-25 lead with 1:46 remaining in the half. They would score the final four of six points to take a 33-27 lead into the locker room.
The Cowgirls were led at halftime by Hanna Zavecz who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. She was followed by Jodi Bolerjack with nine and Michelle Taylor with five. They were 12-25 (.480) from the field and 5-10 (.500) from beyond the arc. Oregon State was led by Kim Butler with 12. Their leading rebounder was Casey Nash with three. They were 9-21 (.429) from the field and 9-11 (.818) from the charity stripe.
Wyoming scored the first five of seven points out of the break to go up by nine, 38-29. The Beavers came back with two straight baskets to pull within five, 38-33. The Cowgirls responded once again with a 10-4 run to make it a double-digit lead, 48-37. Over the next several minutes, the two teams played pretty evenly as Wyoming continued to maintain their advantage. With about seven minutes left the Beavers pulled to within ten, 57-47. The Cowgirls started to pull away as they closed out the game on a 10-2 scoring run allowing Oregon State to score only two points in the remaining minutes of the half to come away with the 67-49 win.
The Cowgirls will now host the Nebraska Cornhuskers, on Tuesday, March 21, at 7:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.