Nov. 6, 2003
Laramie, Wyoming -- The Joe Legerski coaching era began as the Wyoming basketball team opened up the 2003-04 exhibition season with a 56-31 victory over the Adams State Grizzlies, on Thursday night, in Laramie.
Both teams struggled offensively out of the gate as they scored a combined six points in the first five minutes of the game. The Cowgirls made a 7-2 run to go up 11-4 but still not a lot of offense from either team. The Grizzlies really had trouble getting anything to down by going on a seven minute scoring drought finally hitting their fifth point with about six minutes left in the half. Finally, Wyoming got some things going by out scoring Adams State, 16-10, to into halftime with a 27-14 lead. Junior Ashley Elliott led all scorers with 12, while true freshman Michelle Lieber brought down six rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 10-20 (.500) from the field compared to 4-23 (.174) by the Grizzlies.
UW started out the second half strong by scoring seven straight to gain a 21-point margin, 35-14. Adams State answered by scoring the next ten of fourteen to make the score 39-24. Wyoming quickly responded with 13 straight points to go up 52-24 as the Grizzlies went almost seven minutes without a bucket. There was almost a lid on the basket as neither team really scored in the final minutes of the game, but it was all Cowgirls as they came away with the 56-31 victory.
"We still have a lot to work on," said head coach Joe Legerski. "When you are playing so many young players there are going to be things to work on, and it's a matter of finding which area is the most crucial. I was the most pleased about our defensive effort. We talked about not blocking shots, but making people shoot over us and it happened with players like Annie (Gorenstein) and Michelle (Lieber). They made the plays for us and I was happy with that."
Two Cowgirls finished the night in double figures, including junior Ashley Elliott. She led the way with 17 points, along with five rebounds and assists in 33 minutes of play. Guard Brenda Pickup recorded 11 points, plus four assists and three steals. Michelle Lieber led all Wyoming freshmen with nine points and a team leading nine rebounds, while shooting 4-5 from the field. As a team, UW was 22-43 (.512) from the field and out rebounded Adams State 36-26.
"I expect Ashley (Elliott) and Brenda (Pickup) to play well every night," Legerski added. "Overall, it was the extra passes we made tonight in order to get people open which was a pleasant surprise for me.
"Michelle Lieber is going to get the Wyoming fans smiling. She was a rebound and a point short of a double-double for her first game as a Cowgirl. I could not be more pleased with her effort after coming back from an injury during the pre-season, and she'll only get better as time goes on."
The Grizzlies were led by Katie Doherty, who finished the night with 13 points off the bench. Megan Hoffman led the team with eight rebounds while chipping in four points. Adams State struggled shooting only 11-43 (.256) from the field.
The Cowgirls will play one more exhibition game before they begin regular season play. They will host Si Tanka University on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in Laramie.