Nov. 25, 2006
BOULDER, Colo. -
Behind 23 points from junior Hanna Zavecz, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (5-1 overall) closed out play at the 20th annual Coors Classic and won their third straight game with an 80-71 against the Nevada Wolf Pack (3-2 overall) on Saturday night in Boulder, Colo.
"They had more energy in the second half than we did," said head coach Joe Legerski. "We talked to the team around the ten minute mark that we needed to get back the excitement and energy that we had previously had.
"I think it's important for a championship caliber team to have that poise when we got down to handle the pressure. You're going to have teams make a run at you, there is no way to avoid that. It's how you respond and how you play for 40 minutes. I thought we played very well because tonight's game was tough."
Five players finished the night in double-figures for the Cowgirls. Forward Hanna Zavecz led the way with 23 points, three rebounds, while shooting 15-19 from the free throw line in 33 minutes of play. Dominique Sisk finished with a career high 16 points, Megan McGuffey had 12, while Jodi Bolerjack and Justyna Podziemska had ten points each. Podziemska had her first career double-double as she recorded a career high 12 rebounds. As a team, they were 21-49 (.429) from the field and 32-39 (.821) from the free throw line.
Nevada was led by Traci Graham and Dellena Criner who each had 15 points, while Jessica Preslar had ten points and a team leading eight rebounds. They were 26-61 (.426) from the field.
After Nevada took an early 4-3 to begin the game, the Cowgirls responded with eight straight points to gain a seven point lead, 11-4. The Wolf Pack went cold as they went over five minutes before a basket by Marianne Lombardi broke the drought. Wyoming scored the next 5 of 7 to double-up Nevada, 16-8, but they responded with five unanswered to pull within three, 16-13. The two teams played even over the next several minutes as the Cowgirls continued to maintain a four point lead, 25-21, with under four minutes left in the half. After the media timeout, Wyoming scored the next six straight and closed out the half on a 13-8 run to take a nine point lead in to the locker room, 38-29.
The Cowgirls were led in scoring at the half by Zavecz with 13 points followed by McGuffey with seven and Sisk with six. Wyoming was 14-27 (.519) from the field and 7-7 (1.00) from the free throw line. Nevada was led by Preslar, who had ten points and four rebounds. They were 11-26 (.423) from the field and 3-6 (.500) from beyond the arc.
A quick basket by Elisabeth Dissen out of the break gave the Cowgirls a double-figure lead, 40-29, but Nevada answered with nine straight points to pull within two, 40-38. Wyoming responded with a 6-2 run to gain a six point lead, 46-40 with 14 minutes in the half. Unfortunately, the Wolf Pack scored the next nine points to take back the lead for the first time since the first half, 49-46. Over the next several minutes, Wyoming pulled to within one a couple of times until with the score 53-50 in favor of Nevada they had two three-point field goals to pull ahead 56-53. A basket and free throw by Graham evened it up at 56 and then the lead went back and forth between the two teams. With it even at 59, the Cowgirls scored the next eight of nine to regain a seven point lead, 67-60, with under four minutes to go in the game. The lead would grow to nine, but a three point play by the Wolf Pack brought them to within six, 69-63. The next six points by Wyoming were free throws and they continued to lead 75-69 with 1:16 left in the game. In fact, their last ten points were all from the charity stripe as they held on to the 80-71 win.