Nov. 20, 2007
MADISON, Wisc. -
In a re-match of last year's WNIT Championship game, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (4-0 overall) pulled out a 67-66 overtime victory against the Wisconsin Badgers (1-2 overall), on Tuesday night, in Madison.
"This was a tremendous game between two very talented teams," said head coach Joe Legerski. "I thought Hanna (Zavecz) showed why she is a pre-season All-America candidate. She scored 25 points, had seven rebounds and was 4-5 from the three-point line, plus her effort on the defensive end. She really stepped up when we needed her to. I also thought Aubrey (Vandiver) had a tremendous effort and made a big difference for us tonight. She played 37 minutes and had a great defensive effort as well."
Wyoming senior Hanna Zavecz led the way with a team high 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 45 minutes of play. She was followed by Aubrey Vandiver with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Justyna Podziemska added 11 points and a team high eight rebounds. The Cowgirls were 22-50 (.440) from the field and 9-18 (.500) from beyond the arc.
Jolene Anderson led Wisconsin with 25 points, while bringing down seven rebounds. Janese Banks added 11 points followed by Danielle Ward with ten points and nine rebounds. The Badgers shot 26-59 (.441) from the field and 8-14 (.571) from the three point line.
It was close in the early going of the first half until a 5-0 run by the Badgers gave them an 8-4 lead. Wyoming answered with a Vandiver three-point field goal, but Wisconsin scored the next 11 of 15 to extend the lead to seven, 19-12. Another three-point field goal by Wyoming stopped the scoring drought, but three straight baskets by the Badgers made it a double-figure lead, 26-15. The Cowgirls struggled to score as they had one basket and two free throws in a three minute span until a three-point basket by Zavecz pulled them to within eight, 30-22, with two minutes left in the half. They would hold the Badgers to one basket in the final minutes of the half, but still went in to the break down 32-22.
At halftime Zavecz led all scorers for Wyoming with eight points, along with three rebounds. She was followed by Vandiver with six points. As a team, the Cowgirls were 7-20 (.350) from the field and 4-7 (.571) from beyond the arc.
The Badgers' Anderson finished the first half with 12 points and four rebounds, while Ward added seven points and four rebounds as well. Wisconsin shot 13-28 (.464) from the field and 4-6 (.667) from the three-point line.
After Wisconsin scored the first basket of the second half, the Cowgirls answered with eight straight points to pull within five, 35-30. Ward hit a bucket to end the Badgers scoring drought, but Wyoming went on a 7-0 run to pull even at 37. Unfortunately two quick baskets by Wisconsin helped them regain a 41-37 advantage which was answered with four points by Podziemska to even it up at 41 all. A basket and free throw gave the Badgers a 44-41 lead which the Cowgirls responded to with an 8-2 run to go up by three 49-46. The Badgers answered right back with an 8-4 run of their own to even things up at 53 all with just under five minutes to go in the game. After trading baskets, a three-point field goal by Wisconsin's Anderson gave them a 58-55 lead with 3:20 on the clock. Wyoming would tie it up at 58 all, but two free throws by Banks put the Badgers back up 60-58. A basket by Rebecca Vanderjagt with a minute remaining in the game to even things up and then both teams turned it over several times. With 10.2 seconds remaining, Wisconsin had the ball but didn't get a shot off to force the overtime at 60 all.
In the extra period, the Badgers jumped out with two three-point field goals to pull out to the 66-62 lead. The Cowgirls responded with five straight points to take the lead 67-66 with one minute remaining. A shot by Mariah Dunham was blocked by Vanderjagt who also rebounded the ball with a little over 35 seconds left. The shot clock would run out and Wisconsin had one final opportunity to win the game. They would never get a shot off as the Cowgirls came away with the 67-66 victory.
Wyoming will resume play following the Thanksgiving holiday, on Thursday, November 29 as they host the Montana Lady Griz. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.