Hot Shooting Helps Wyoming Snap Losing Streak

The Cowgirls wasted little time getting things back on track against the Lobos on Sunday…

LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Cowgirls' shooting woes are over.

So is their losing streak.

Jodi Bolerjack and Justyna Podziemska combined for 33 points, including eight 3-pointers, as No. 22 Wyoming jumped out to a big early lead and never looked back, beating New Mexico 70-55 on Sunday.

After dropping two straight Mountain West Conference matchups and shooting less than 40 percent from 3-point range in their last three games, the Cowgirls (19-3 overall, 7-2 MWC) wasted little time turning things around against the Lobos (12-10, 4-5). Bolerjack hit three 3-pointers in the first seven minutes of the game, and Wyoming jumped out to an early 18-2 lead.

"It was important tonight that we get off to a good start," UW head coach Joe Legerski said. "You need to have somebody step up and make shots early, and I thought that's what Jodi Bolerjack did for us. When she hit the threes, it seemed like it just made everybody relax."

Relax, and start knocking in a few of their own.

Rebecca Vanderjagt added a long-range jumper during the early run, and Podziemska's 3-pointer at the 6:45-mark of the first half stifled a Lobo surge and pushed Wyoming's lead to 25-11.

New Mexico's Jessica Kielpinski came off the bench to score 11 points in 11 minutes as the Lobos pulled within 32-25 with 55 seconds left in the period. But Bolerjack hit her fourth 3-pointer moments later, and Hanna Zavecz's layup with seven seconds left put Wyoming up 37-25 at halftime.

"It is amazing how many shooters Wyoming has," UNM head coach Don Flanagan said. "Even their tallest post can hit a three if you leave her alone."

The Cowgirls held off New Mexico with more sharp-shooting in the second half. Podziemska knocked in a 3-pointer two and a half minutes into the period, Dominique Sisk hit one two minutes later and Bolerjack added her fifth with 14:20 remaining.

Even Hanna Zavecz, who has struggled from beyond the arc this season (22.7 percent), got into the action. Her 3-pointer with 12:41 to go preceded one from Aubrey Vandiver three minutes later that gave the Cowgirls' an 18-point lead. By the time Podziemska hit her third at the 7-minute mark, Wyoming led 63-46.

The Lobos applied full-court pressure down the stretch but never got closer than 13 points behind.

"Wyoming was the better team," Flanagan said. "We played poorly early, got too far behind and couldn't come back.

"For the most part I thought we were out there contesting their shots. What happened was we got turned around in the screens and couldn't get back to play defense."

Bolerjack finished with a game-high 17 points and added four assists. Podziemska had 16 points, and Sisk chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

As a team, the Cowgirls shot 42.6 percent from the field and 12-of-28 from 3-point range (42.9 percent), including 6-of-12 in the second half.

"We have to go to TCU on Wednesday, (and they are) playing very well," Legerski said. "We needed this victory so that this (losing) streak didn't continue."

With a 75-54 road win over San Diego State on Saturday, the Lady Frogs improved to 7-2 in MWC play. They will have a shot to beat out the Cowgirls for sole possession of second place in the league on Wednesday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time in Fort Worth.

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