Podziemska Leads Wyoming Over Kansas State

Nov. 15, 2007

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team handed the Kansas State Wildcats their first loss of the season and earned a 56-44 victory on Thursday night in Laramie.

"I thought this felt more like a conference game," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "Both teams know each other, they are highly skilled and talented, and both teams will compete for 40 minutes. We have a tough schedule and that was by design so by the time we get to conference we would be ready to go. It was an unbelievable basketball game.

"I was really pleased with the play of all of the players. Jodi Bolerjack stepped up and had a tremendous game, especially on the defensive end. Also, I can't talk enough about Justyna Podziemska. She has been steady. She is a tremendous three point shooter and has improved her game to put it on the floor and attack the basket."

Wyoming senior Justyna Podziemska led her team with a game high 20 points, along with six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Jodi Bolerjack followed with 14 points, while Hanna Zavecz added ten. Aubrey Vandiver led the way with seven rebounds. As a team, Wyoming shot 16-47 (.340) from the field, 18-26 (.692) from the free throw line, while out rebounding the Wildcats 38-30.

Kansas State was led by Shalee Lehning with 14 points and five steals, while Marlies Gipson added 13 and Ashley Sweat had ten. Gipson also added a team high six rebounds. The Wildcats were 18-52 (.346) from the field and 1-8 (.125) from the three point line.

It was a low scoring affair through the first media timeout as the two teams combined for twelve points, tied up at six all. Wyoming responded with a 7-0 scoring run while the Wildcats went over four minutes without a basket. After a basket by KSU's Sweat, both teams went cold. There was a three minute scoring drought until Vandiver scored a layup to make it a seven point lead, 15-8, for the Cowgirls. Kansas State answered back scoring seven of the next nine points to pull within two, 15-13. There was limited scoring in the final minutes of the first half as the Cowgirls would take a 20-15 lead in to the locker room.

At the half Wyoming was led by Podziemska with nine points followed by Vandiver with six points. Vandiver also led the way with seven rebounds. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 8-31 (258) from the field and 3-10 (.300) from beyond the arc.

Kansas State was led by Gipson and Lehning with four points each. Three players finished with three rebounds. The Wildcats shot 7-27 (.259) from the field and 1-6 (.167) from the three point line.

Out of the halftime break, the Cowgirls hit two three point field goals to extend the lead to double-figures, 26-15, while Kansas State went over four minutes before two Lehning free throws broke their drought. That would start a small scoring run to bring KSU to within nine, 30-21. After two free throws by Zavecz, Kansas State would score nine straight points to make it a two point game, 32-30. The Cowgirls went three minutes without scoring until another set of free throws by Bolerjack ended that drought. The two teams played even over the next several minutes as the Cowgirls continued to maintain a slight lead. Kansas State would pull within two, 40-38, after a three point play by Sweat. The Cowgirls would respond with seven of the next eight points to make it an eight point lead, 47-39. Kansas State could never recover as Wyoming went on to the 56-44 victory.

Wyoming will now head out on the road for the first time with two games. They will play the Saint Louis Billikens, on Sunday, November 18, and the Wisconsin Badgers, on Tuesday, November 20.