Wyoming Beats Iowa in Tournament Championship Game

Dec. 9, 2007


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The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team (8-1 overall) closed out the weekend with a 54-50 victory against the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4 overall) to win the Iowa Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon in Iowa City.

"We have a senior group of players and we talk everyday about getting better," said UW head coach Joe Legerski. "No matter the opponent is you need to play at the same level. I wasn't necessarily happy with the way we started, but we hung in there and know that it's a 40 minute ball game."

Three Cowgirls finished the game in double-figures led by Justyna Podziemska and Aubrey Vandiver with 14 points each. Senior Hanna Zavecz followed with 11 points. Podziemska also recorded a team high eight rebounds. Wyoming shot 19-48 (.396) from the field and 10-14 (.714) from the free throw line.

Iowa was led by Megan Skouby with 15 points and four rebounds. Kristi Smith followed with nine and Wendy Ausdemore with eight. JoAnn Hamlin was the leading rebounder with six. The Hawkeyes shot 21-53 (.396) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 32-31.

It was low scoring through the first media timeout as Iowa took the early 4-0 lead as the Cowgirls struggled shooting the ball. After a basket by the Hawkeyes gave them a 6-0 advantage, a free throw by Rebecca Vanderjagt got the Cowgirls on the board at the 15:18 mark. That would start an 8-2 run to even things up at eight all. Iowa answered with two quick baskets to regain a four point lead, 12-8, but Wyoming scored five straight points to take their first lead of the game 13-12, with just over eight minutes to go in the half. The Hawkeyes would score the next four points to regain a 16-13 advantage, which was answered with a 6-1 run to go back up by two, 19-17. They would extend that lead by closing out the half by scoring nine of the last ten points to take a double-figure lead, 28-18.

At halftime Wyoming was led in scoring Podziemska with eight points and four rebounds. She was followed by Megan McGuffey and Vandiver with five points each. The Cowgirls were 10-24 (.417) from the field, while out rebounding Iowa 19-15.

Skouby led the way at the break with seven points for the Hawkeyes followed by Stacy Schlapkohl with three. Iowa shot 8-26 (.308) from the field and 0-6 (.000) from beyond the arc.

Out of the half-time break, the Hawkeyes hit two quick baskets to pull within six, 28-22. Podziemksa hit a three-point field goal to stop the run, but Hamlin answered back with the same to make the score 31-25. Wyoming would score a couple of baskets to get the lead back to double-figures, 35-25, unfortunately Iowa would score the next seven of nine which made it a five-point game, 37-32. Another 5-2 run by the Cowgirls put them back up, 42-34, with just over nine minutes remaining in the game. They couldn't shake the Hawkeyes as they scored seven of the next eight points to even it up at 43 all. Two scores by Iowa put them back up 47-43 with over four minutes to go in the game, but Wyoming responded with five unanswered to take back the one point lead, 48-47. Vandiver would score the next two baskets to put them up by five, 52-47, but a three-point field goal by Ausdemore brought them to within two, 52-50, with under a minute to go. A couple of defensive plays and two clutch free throws by Vandiver sealed the 54-50 victory for the Cowgirls.