March 25, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
In front of another record setting crowd of 11,253, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (25-9, 11-5 in the MWC) held on to a 70-59 victory against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (25-6 overall) on Sunday afternoon in Laramie. The crowd broke the mark that was set on Thursday night against Oregon of 7,362 fans.
Wyoming used a 16-0 run early in the second half to put a tight game out of reach.
"One of the things that we talked about at halftime was setting the tempo of the game," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "We needed to make early passes and get in to our offense quicker instead of standing around. Elisabeth Dissen had a nice second half as she was able to slip through a couple of screens to get easy baskets. We need to shoot the ball better from the free throw line, but in the end we shot well enough.
"Defensively, we were good once again. It has to do with who we have on the floor with Hanna, Justyna and Dominique. We played with a great deal of intensity and we had to keep them off the free throw line."
The Cowgirls will continue play on Wednesday, March 28, as they host the Kansas State Wildcats in the semifinal round of the WNIT. The game is set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium. Wyoming lost to Kansas State earlier this season in Manhattan, 68-62 in overtime. The game was sent into overtime on a halfcourt heave by the Wildcats.
Three Cowgirls finished in double-figures against SDSU led by junior Jodi Bolerjack. She recorded a team high 16 points along with four rebounds and four assists. Megan McGuffey added 14 points off the bench, while Hanna Zavecz chipped in 13. Justyna Podziemska recorded a team high seven rebounds. Wyoming shot 21-43 (.488) from the field and 22-31 (.710) from the free throw line.
Megan Vogel led the way for South Dakota State with a game high 19 points, along with six rebounds. Two players followed with eight points each. Courtney Grimsrud was the leading rebounder with seven. The Jackrabbits were 19-50 (.380) from the field and 4-16 (.250) from beyond the arc.
The Jackrabbits took a 5-2 lead early in the game, but Wyoming answered with two straight baskets to take their first lead of the game, 6-5. It was a great defensive battle over the next several minutes as the two teams combined for six points and SDSU regained a 9-8 lead, which would increase to five, 13-8. Two free throws by Dominique Sisk would break the Cowgirls drought, unfortunately a small run by the Jackrabbits put them back up by four 17-13 with just over eight minutes to go in the half. Wyoming answered back with nine straight points to gain a five point advantage. SDSU responded with two quick baskets to pull within one, 22-21, but the Cowgirls scored six unanswered to go back up seven, 28-21. A three-point field goal by SDSU's Alison Anderson make the score 28-24, but a McGuffey jumper gave the Cowgirls a six point lead, 30-24. Despite some free throws at the end of the half by the Jackrabbits, Wyoming still took a 30-27 lead in to the locker room.
At the half Wyoming was led in scoring by McGuffey with nine points followed by Bolerjack and Sisk with five. The Cowgirls were 10-20 (.500) from the field and 7-8 (.875) from the free throw line. South Dakota State was led by Vogel with seven points followed by Grimsrud with six. SDSU was 10-24 (.417) from the field while out rebounding the Cowgirls 14-11.
Out of the halftime break, South Dakota State pulled to within two, 32-30, but the Cowgirls answered with 16 straight points to gain an 18 point lead, 48-30, with just over 12 minutes on the clock. The Jackrabbits continued to struggle on the offensive end as they went seven minutes without scoring until two free throws by Vogel. In fact all of their points came from the free throw line until the 8:20 mark when Kelly Cornemann hit a three-point field goal which made the score 50-37 in favor of Wyoming. A basket by Maria Boever pulled the Jackrabbits to within 11, 50-39, which was answered by the Cowgirls who scored the next eight of ten to go back up 17, 58-41. South Dakota State battled back as they went on a 10-3 run to make it a 10 point game, 61-51. The closest they would get would be eight points as the Cowgirls held on to the 70-59 victory.