Cowgirl Basketball Closes Out Non-Conference With Win

Dec. 29, 2005

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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In their final non-conference game of the season, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team moved to 10-1 overall after a hard fought 78-60 victory over the Idaho State Bengals (5-6 overall) on Thursday night in Laramie. The Cowgirls have now won eight in a row and their 10-1 start is the second best in school history.

"Idaho State is a very good basketball team," said head coach Joe Legerski. "They can put points on the board and have the players to do it, and I knew it was going to be a real battle. They gained some momentum and took the lead, then Erin Hicks hit two big three point shots which put us back up and it seemed like we took over from there."

The Cowgirls were led by freshman Megan McGuffey who recorded her first double-double of her career with 27 points and ten rebounds. She was 7-13 (.538) from the field and 11-13 (.846) from the free throw line, with two assists and two steals. Senior Erin Hicks followed with a season high 21 points and Hanna Zavecz with 17. Wyoming shot 23-57 (.404) from the field and 23-28 (.821) from the free throw line.

Idaho State was led by Natalie Doma with 22 points followed by Chelsey Chambers with 11 and Andrea Lightfoot with ten. Joanna Hixon was the leading rebounder with eight. The Bengals shot 23-59 (.390) from the field and 12-14 (.857) from the free throw line.

Both teams came out a little rusty as they combined for just seven points through the first four minutes of the game. The Cowgirls would get on track and go on a 16-0 to take a double-figure lead 19-4 while the Bengals went over five minutes with out a basket. Idaho State broke their drought with two free throws but still continued to struggle scoring points. Finally, the Bengals went on a 12-6 run to pull within seven, 25-18. Wyoming kept their composure and scored seven of 13 to close out the half to take a 32-24 lead in to the locker room.

Megan McGuffey led all scorers at half with 13 followed by Hanna Zavecz with six. McGuffey and Erin Hicks both finished with five rebounds. Wyoming was 12-35 (.343) from the field while brining down 25 rebounds. Andrea Lightfoot was the leading scorer for Idaho State with eight, while Joanna Hixon had seven rebounds. The Bengals were 8-28 (.286) from the field.

The teams played very even for several minutes of the second half until a small run by Idaho State brought them to within five, 40-35, and eventually three, 42-39. Wyoming would score the next seven of 11 to make it a six point game, 49-43, unfortunately the Bengals would answer with eight straight to take their first lead of the game, 51-49. It would take senior Erin Hicks to hit two big three point field goals to put the Cowgirls back up by four, 55-51. A Chelsey Chambers basket pulled ISU to within two, 55-53, and the Cowgirls responded with a six straight to go up by eight, 61-53. Idaho State was never able to pull any closer as Wyoming hit free throws at the end of the game to come away with a 78-60 victory.

The Cowgirls begin Mountain West Conference play next week as they face the UNLV Lady Rebels, on Thursday, Jan. 5, in Las Vegas, Nev.