Cowgirls Ranked in AP Poll

It took 10 straight wins and a WNIT championship, but the Cowgirls are finally starting to get some national respect. See which spot the team landed in the most recent AP poll…

Laramie, Wyo. -- For the first time in school history, the Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball program is ranked among the Top 25 teams in the country as voted on by the Associated Press.

"I'm happy for our players and fans," said head coach Joe Legerski. "The players know that it is still early in the season and we need to stay focused on the task at hand. The schedule does not get any easier with Montana, Denver and Colorado on the horizon."

The Cowgirls, who had been receiving votes in the poll, finished with 72 total points to put them in the 25th spot following the University of Texas. The top five includes Tennessee, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina and Rutgers.

Wyoming is currently 4-0 overall and riding a ten game winning streak dating back to the end of last season. During that time, they have defeated Kansas State (twice) and Missouri out of the Big 12, Oregon from the PAC 10, Wisconsin (twice) in the Big 10 and Idaho State from the Big Sky.

And in other Cowgirl basketball news…
Wyoming senior Hanna Zavecz and Utah senior Leilani Mitchell have been named the Mountain West Conference Women's Basketball Co-Players of the Week.

Mitchell, hailing from Kennewick, Wash., was named to the all-tournament team at the Oahu Classic held in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 22-24. Over the course of the tournament, she had back-to-back 24-point games in a 70-66 overtime loss to Marist and a 71-60 win over Akron, shooting 61.5 percent and 60 percent from the field, respectively.

She led the Utes in scoring in each of the first two games of the tournament, and had a team-best six assists against Marist and Nebraska. She tallied 13 points in the Utes' 56-44 victory against Nebraska. For the week, Mitchell led her team in scoring (20.3 points), assists (14) and steals (3). In addition, she had team bests with a .538 (21-for-39) shooting percentage from the floor, and a .636 (7-for-11) average from three-point range. She was nearly perfect from the line, going 12-for-14 (.857) from the charity stripe. Mitchell currently leads the league in assists averaging 6.2 per game.

Scoring a season-high 25 points and pulling down seven rebounds in a 67-66 overtime victory at 25th-ranked Wisconsin, Zavecz led the Cowgirls in their only game of the week. The Melbourne, Australia, native, shot 7-for-14 (.500) from the field, and 4-for-5 (.800) from beyond the arc, helping her team overcome a 13-point halftime deficit to secure a win. She sank 7-of-8 (.875) from the free throw line and recorded her fourth double-figure scoring game of the season and the 75th of her career. Zavecz averages a team-leading 16.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and adds 4.25 assists and six steals per game.

Mitchell and Zavecz are tied for third in the league in average points per game with 16.8. This marks Mitchell's first career player of the week honor, while Zavecz receives her second after claiming it the week of Feb. 20, 2006.

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