Cowgirl Basketball Wins Big Over Panthers

Nov. 28, 2004

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Laramie, Wyoming - In dominating fashion, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team closed out the holiday weekend with a 65-45 victory over the Northern Iowa Panthers, on Sunday afternoon in Laramie. The Cowgirls now improve to 3-1 overall while the Panthers, 3-1 overall, suffer their first loss of the season.

Wyoming started off strong as they opened up the game by taking an early 6-0 lead. After a Northern Iowa basket, the Cowgirls scored seven straight to widen their margin to 11 points. The Panthers struggled on the offensive end of the court as they only managed to score six points through the first ten minutes of the half, while the Cowgirls extended their lead to double-digits, 24-6, with an 11-2 run. From that point the two teams played even to close out the half as Wyoming took a 33-15 lead in to the locker room.

Freshman Hanna Zavecz led all scorers in the half with 15 followed by Ashley Elliott with 12. Erin Hicks was the leading rebounder for the Cowgirls with five. Alex Cook and Cassie Hager finished with four points during the half for UNI. Cook also led the team in rebounds with six. As a team, Wyoming shot 12-33 (.364) from the field, while the Panthers were 6-26 (.231).

After a quick Cowgirl basket out of the break, Northern Iowa went on a 14-6 scoring run to close the gap to 39-29. Wyoming kept their composure and scored the next 10 of 12 to regain an 18-point lead, unfortunately the Panthers just wouldn't go away as they scored six straight to pull within 12, 49-37. With seven unanswered points of their own, the Cowgirls seemed to finally put UNI away as they came away with the 65-45 victory.

"The challenge in a basketball game is that you need to maintain the scoring runs that happen during the game," said head coach Joe Legerski. "There will be times that we play well and the other team play well and you want to make sure that you're scoring stretches last longer than theirs. I thought in the first half we came out ready to play, focused and we got off to a great start shooting the ball, which is hard to carry through out the entire game, but overall I was pleased with our effort."

Wyoming was led in scoring by forward Hanna Zavecz, who finished with a career high 25 points. She also chipped in six boards, two assists and two blocked shots, while shooting 9-17 from the field and 4-8 from beyond the arc. Senior Ashley Elliott recorded a season high 18 points, while guard Erin Hicks brought down a career high 14 rebounds. The Cowgirls were 22-62 (.355) from the field and 15-19 (.789) from the charity stripe.

"It was a great feeling on the court tonight," said Hanna Zavecz. "Everyone played together as a team. I don't like to think of myself as the stand-out, but I thought everyone chipped in and it happened to be my game where my shots were falling. My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball, and I have to give credit to them."

Northern Iowa was led by center Cassie Hager, who finished her night with 16 points and nine boards. The Panthers shot 18-54 (.333) from the field, but a disappointing 2-14 (.143) from the three-point line.

The Cowgirls will now host the Colorado Buffaloes, on Wednesday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m.