Cowgirls Open Conference Play With Win

Wyoming struggled to stop New Mexico's inside attack in the early goings of Wednesday night's MWC opener, but a few halftime adjustments sparked a 12-point second-half turnaround and helped the Cowgirls stand tall in The Pit…

Albuquerque, N.M. — The nationally-ranked Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team overcame a six-point halftime deficit to open up Mountain West Conference play with a 58-52 victory over the New Mexico Lobos on Wednesday night.

It marked the first time since January 14, 1995 that the Cowgirls defeated New Mexico in Albuquerque.

"At halftime we talked about believing," said head coach Joe Legerski." You have to believe you can get a victory in a very difficult environment. The team held their composure and made their free throws down the stretch. It was just a tremendous effort by a happy group of Cowgirls."

Wyoming (13-1 overall, 1-0 Mountain West Conference) was led by Hanna Zavecz with 14 points, five assists and four steals. Jodi Bolerjack added 11 points, and Justyna Podziemska and Megan McGuffey each scored nine.

UNM was led by Dionne Marsh with a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds.

Marsh scored the first four points for the Lobos and led New Mexico to an early 16-7 advantage. A basket by Podziemska sparked an 11-4 Wyoming run that cut the lead to 20-18, but the Lobos scored six of the period's final eight points to take a 26-20 lead into the locker room.

Marsh finished the half with 16 points—14 more than any other Lobo.

The Cowgirls opened the second half with an 11-4 scoring run that gave them their first lead of the game at 31-30. They would extend the advantage to 47-41 with more than five minutes to play, but a 7-1 New Mexico spurt evened the score with 2:45 left on the clock.

Free throws by both teams and a basket by the Cowgirls tied the score at 52 before Hanna Zavecz hit two key free throws. A defensive stop on the other end gave the Cowgirls the ball with time winding down on the clock. Dominique Sisk was fouled and hit two free throws to make it a 56-52 lead, and another defensive stop resulted in two more Sisk free throws to seal the victory.

The Cowgirls will play their first home conference game of the season on Saturday, January 12, when they host the TCU Lady Frogs. Tip time for the game is set for 1:00 p.m. in the Arena Auditorium.

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