Cowgirls Open Hoops, Dominating Chadron State, 80-33
From the desk of Sean O’Sullivan
LARAMIE – The Cowgirls played tremendous defense in their season-opening game, an 80-33 victory over Chadron State. Wyoming limited the Eagles to 27.5 percent (14-of-51) shooting from the field, forced 29 turnovers and collected 18 steals, tied for ninth-most steals in a game in school history.
The Cowgirls also had 12 players see the court, in an effort for head coach Joe Legerski to find a solid rotation to start this season. Wyoming’s bench outscored Chadron State’s, 43-11. With the win, the Cowgirls move to 13-3 under Legerski in season-opening games.
“With tonight’s game, I always look at when you schedule games, you’re trying to get information, let your team learn and find more things out about your team,” Legerski said. “When I look at this roster, we have four players with any sort of Division I playing experience. We have to be able to find some people.”
Joining seniors Bailee Cotton, Marta Gomez and Clara Tapia and junior Taylor Rusk, freshman Karla Erjavec started her first-career game.. Erjavec scored seven points, six steals, two rebounds and two assists in a solid all-around game.
Legerski said that was encouraging.He said Erjavec could see unexpected playing time. The Cowgirls learned Wednesday that Sladjana Rakovk required pins inserted into a broken wrist and will be out for six weeks.
“I thought Karla played tremendous tonight,” Legerski said. “She plays real well what I call ‘center field’ in transition. She just sits back there, reads what’s happening and she makes plays. She came up with six steals and played very well.”
Offensively, the Cowgirls were led by freshman Tereza Vitulova, who scored 14 points off the bench while collecting four rebounds. Freshman Alba Sanchez Ramos scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, and Cotton and Gomez chipped in 11 points apiece, with Cotton corralling a game-high eight rebounds. Senior Clara Tapia directed the offense with five assists, as well. Senior Rachelle Tucker had a career night, scoring a career-high eight points with a career-best seven rebounds.
Junior Taylor Rusk opened the scoring with a deep three on the right wing, and Tapia found Cotton for a fast break layup on the next possession. Gomez hit a three, and Cotton converted an out-of-bounds play for a layup to take Wyoming’s game-opening run to 10-0 into the first media timeout. After four free throws and a Tucker jumper from the elbow, the Cowgirls owned a 16-0 lead before the Eagles finally got on the board at the 2:31 mark of the first quarter. Erjavec found the bottom of the net for the first time in her career, and then she found Tucker for a buzzer-beating layup, bringing the first-quarter score to 24-8.
Rusk hit a three to open the scoring for the Cowgirls in the second quarter, in what started as a defensive quarter for both teams. The Eagles missed their first three shots and had a turnover, while the Cowgirls missed six of their first seven shots. A pair of Cotton free throws ended a nearly three-minute scoring drought to put UW up 29-10. Vitulova capped a 15-0 Cowgirl run to end the quarter with a turnaround hook shot, and Wyoming took a 39-10 lead into the halftime break.
Gomez hit back-to-back threes to open the second half. After a Cotton free throw and an Erjavec triple, Chadron State called a timeout, trailing 49-10 to the Cowgirls. Tucker then converted the rare four-point play where she was fouled after making a basket while in the team was in the bonus. The Eagles’ first points of the half came at the 4:45 mark on a pair of free throws. Sanchez Ramos, junior Elisa Pilli and freshman Quinn Weidemann all earned their first points as a Cowgirl in the third quarter, and Wyoming took a 66-17 lead into the third quarter break.
Sanchez Ramos hit a jumper out of the break, and Pilli hit her second three of the night to sandwich a Chadron State and-one play. Freshman Tommi Olson then drained a free throw to open the scoring ledger on her career and put the Cowgirls up 72-20. The teams traded shots until a Vitulova jumper put the Cowgirls up by 50, leading 76-26. Sanchez Ramos halted a six-point Eagles run with a pair of free throws, and the game ended with an 80-33 victory for the Cowgirls.
Wyoming shot 39.4 percent (28-of-71) from the field, 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from three and 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the free throw line throughout the game. Chadron State was held to 27.5 percent (14-of-51) from the field, 0.0 percent (0-for-10) from three and 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from the line.
The Cowgirls are back in action on Friday, Nov. 9, as the squad travels to Moraga, Calif., to face the Saint Mary’s Gaels. Action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. (MT), and links to a live stream and live stats will be provided on GoWyo.com
Freshman Karla Erjavec started at guard and had seven points and six steals in 18 minutes. Coach Joe Legerski said that was encouraging.He said Erjavec could see unexpected playing time. The Cowgirls learned Wednesday that Sladjana Rakovk required pins inserted into a broken wrist and will be out for six weeks.
|Scored by quarters||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|Chadron State (0-1)||FG-FGA||3PT-Made||FT-FTA||Off||Def||Tot||PF||TP||A||TO||Blk||Stl||Min|
Officials: Tiffany Bird,Jessica Fortner,A.V. Cervantes
Technical fouls: Chadron State-None. Wyoming-None.