By Jamie D. Bridenstine
LARAMIE -- The Cowgirls appropriately celebrated the National Girls and Women in Sports Day Wednesday night, winning against the Air Force Academy Falcons 80-60.
The Cowgirls are now 27-0 all-time against the Falcons at the Auditorium Arena, but they knew better than to take anything for granted, having lost at the Air Force Academy last season.
And it wasn't easy this time.
“This was as difficult as victory, when you look at the score, there was nothing easy about this win," Legerski said. "I thought we had a difficult time defending their quickness for them to be able to get within 6 to 12 feet of the basket.”
The Cowgirls took a 26-14 lead in the first quarter. Taylor Rusk made the first three pointer of the game early in the quarter, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Karla Erjavec, a freshman from Croatia, had six of here 10 assists by the end of the quarter.
“I’m surprised that she didn’t get more than ten assists because in the first five minutes she already had six… It’s crazy how much she can see the game and see who’s going to be open even when no one else is there.” Gomez said.
Gomez was the recipient of three of those assists in the opening quarter.
Legerski also commented on Erjavec’s numbers. “She had basically a third of our points tonight that she was the direct result of.”
The second quarter allowed the Cowgirls to continue to hold their lead. Scoring the most points in the second was Cotton, putting up 6 points in the first couple of minutes. A 3 pointer by Rusk soon followed. This quarter also saw the most turnovers than any other quarter, with a total of 7 from the Cowgirls. Rakovic had the final say of the quarter when she put up 2 points with a lay-up at the 22 second mark. The Cowgirls entered into the half 46-29.
The second half was started right away with 2 points put up on the board by the Academy. A foul on Air Force at the 6-minute mark allowed two points up on the board by Cotton, who also ended the 4-minute drought. Hungry for points, Rakovic and Vitulova both shared the scoreboard for 2 and a half minutes, then the Cowgirls had the final say, leaving the score at 60-46 to enter the final quarter.
Erjavec opened up the fourth with a jumper, and was soon followed by Rusk. Air Force answered with two layups. Gomez put up 4 points bringing the team to a 72-52 lead, and was followed with layups by Erjavec, Rusk, and Vitulova. The last quarter of the game saw the Cowgirls continue on, by the end of the game, to get a 63% field goal accuracy, while the Falcons earned a 43% accuracy. Air Force had the final say with a 2-point jumper, leaving the score at 80-60.
As for the Colorado State University game later this week, Legerski gave an insight to the upcoming match. “It doesn’t matter what anybody’s record is, as you take a look at it. That’s one of the things we’ve seen in this league. Home teams play very well, and you have to be very sharp.”
The Cowgirls travel to CSU Saturday to take on their rivals in a Border War match up. They meet in the Moby Arena at 2 p.m.