Jan. 9, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Hanna Zavecz scored 14 points and Dominique Sisk swished four free throws in the final 21 seconds, leading No. 21 Wyoming to a 58-52 victory over New Mexico on Wednesday night.
Jodi Bolerjack added 11 points as the Cowgirls (13-1), playing the Mountain West opener for both schools, won their seventh straight and escaped The Pit with a victory for the first time since 1995.
"It's been over a dozen years, a great deal longer than any of these kids have been around," Wyoming coach Joe Legerski said. "I'm very happy for our seniors. They showed tremendous leadership to get a win down here. I tip my hat to them."
Dionne Marsh had a season-high 24 points and seven rebounds for the Lobos (8-6), who lost for the fourth time in the past five games. No other New Mexico player scored more than Brandi Kimble's seven.
"Defensively, we were pretty much there," New Mexico coach Don Flanagan said. "Offensively, we've got to get people who can score more points."
The Cowgirls, playing just their second game in three weeks, came out sluggish and trailed 26-20 at halftime. By then, Marsh had 16 points, but Wyoming tightened the defense got things rolling with an 8-4 run to open the second half.
The Cowgirls led for the first time at 31-30 on Rebecca Vanderjagt's 3-pointer four minutes after the break. Then Wyoming began double-teaming Marsh, forcing her to miss her first three field-goal attempts of the second half.
"Dionne's a tremendous player," Legerski said. "I knew we couldn't double her all night long. We had to pick our chances for when to do it. We were fortunate to limit her touches and get the ball going the other way."
Wyoming looked comfortable, leading 47-41 after two free throws by Sisk with 5:51 remaining.
But Kimble hit a 3-pointer to get the crowd fired up and Marsh bounced in a jumper with 3:52 to go, pulling New Mexico within 47-46. It was tied at 48 moments later after Kimble rebounded and found Eileen Weissmann for a layup.
The teams traded free throws, and it was tight down the stretch until Sisk's free throws with 21.6 seconds remaining put Wyoming up 56-52. She hit another pair with 12.6 seconds to go, sealing the win.
The Cowgirls also got a huge rebound by Justyna Podziemska after New Mexico's Amanda Adamson missed a late runner, and Podziemska tipped a desperation 3-point try by Amy Beggin just before the final horn.
"We thought it would be a grind-out game and that's what it was," Flanagan said. "They just executed their offense better than we did."
Wyoming made 17-of-24 from the line, including Sisk's 6-for-6 effort, and Legerski pointed to his team's 12 offensive rebounds, which nullified New Mexico's 33-31 overall rebounding edge.
"That was a big part of it, stepping up to the free throw line and making them," Legerski said. "I also thought offensive rebounds were key. It gave us a lot of extra chances. Then we just spread the floor and tried to find a mismatch."