Cowgirls Battle Tough Saint Louis Team for 61-57 Victory

Nov. 18, 2007

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (3-0 overall) headed out on the road for the first time this season and pulled out a 61-57 win against the Saint Louis Billikens (0-3 overall), on Sunday afternoon, in St. Louis.

"Saint Louis is a team similar to us a few years ago. They play several young, talented players, who can push the ball up and down the floor," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "I thought we executed a couple of plays at the end. It was about getting the ball to Megan (McGuffey) where we talked about and the play came through. Also, the free throws by Jodi (Bolerjack) at the end were big time in this win for us."

UW senior Hanna Zavecz finished with a team high 18 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes of play. She was followed by Justyna Podziemska with 18 points and seven boards, while Aubrey Vandiver added ten points. Wyoming shot 18-46 (.391) from the field and only 1-10 (.100) from beyond the arc. They did out rebound the Billikens 38-26.

Three players finished the night in double-figures for Saint Louis led by Katie Paganelli, who recorded a team high 16 points. Jackie Gilbert and Maggie Hennegan added 12 and 11 respectively. SLU shot 15-43 (.349) from the field and 23-34 (.676) from the free throw line.

The Cowgirls jumped ahead in the early going of the first half by taking a 4-0 lead. SLU answered with a three-point play by Hennegan to make the score 4-3 through the first media timeout. Podziemska had a lay-up to give the Cowgirls a 6-3 lead, but the Billikens answered with a 6-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 9-6. Four straight points by Wyoming helped them regain a one point lead, 10-9, which was answered by Saint Louis scoring the next seven of nine to take a five point lead, 16-11. The Cowgirls pulled to within one, 16-15, unfortunately another 7-2 run by SLU put them back up by six, 23-17. Despite a struggle shooting the ball, Wyoming closed out the half out on a 7-3 run to go in to halftime down, 26-24.

At halftime the Cowgirls were led by Vandiver with eight points and five rebounds. Podziemska followed with six points, while Zavecz added five. Wyoming struggled shooting 8-29 (.276) from the field and 0-9 (.000) from beyond the arc.

Saint Louis was led by Amy Klotz and Hennegan with seven points each, while Hennegan also led the way with five rebounds. The Billikens were 7-19 (.368) from the field and 11-17 (.647) from the free throw line.

Wyoming came out inspired to begin the second half as they went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead for the first time in the second half 32-26. SLU struggled as it took until the 15:44 mark to score with a Paganelli free throw, and then the Cowgirls expanded their lead to double-figures, 37-27. The Billikens scored the next three of four to pull within seven, 38-31. After Wyoming scored the next basket to make the score 40-31, SLU went on a 9-4 run to pull within four, 44-40. The Cowgirls responded with eight straight points to give themselves another double-digit lead 52-40. Unfortunately they couldn't shake Saint Louis as another 9-2 run pulled them to within five, 54-49, with two minutes remaining in the game. A basket by Podziemska stopped the run but again five straight points by the Billikens brought them to within two, 56-54, with under a minute to go. This time with the clock winding down Megan McGuffey drove to the basket for a lay-up which put the Cowgirls up 58-54. SLU got the ball back and a three-point field goal by Jackie Gilbert made the score 59-57 with 8.5 seconds remaining. Two big free throws by Jodi Bolerjack sealed the 61-57 win for the Cowgirls.

Wyoming will close out this road trip, on Tuesday, November 20, against the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison. The game is set to begin at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time.