WYOMING

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Wyoming finished the 2008-2009 season with a rough 16-14 overall record and landed in sixth place in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-8 record.

The Cowgirls were given a fifth-place preseason ranking for the 2009-2010 season and have since gone 6-0 in the preseason, knocking off Idaho State in a commanding 76-40 victory in their latest game. However, their schedule hasn’t proven to be a challenging one, as four of their six wins have been by a margin of at least 23 points. The Cowgirls have yet to take on a Top 25 foe or any school receiving votes.

Although Wyoming has had a different leading scorer nearly every game this season, Wyoming’s biggest asset thus far has been junior guard Aubrey Vandiver. Vandiver leads the team in scoring, with 79 total points, and in rebounding, with 43. She tallied a double-double against Black Hills State, with 20 points and 11 boards in the Cowgirls’ 23-point win. As a sophomore in 2008, Vandiver was a third-team All-MWC selection, but did not play her junior year because of an illness.

Vandiver is followed closely by junior forward Hillary Carlson, who has 71 points and 31 rebounds on the season so far. Carlson is a returning starter and was an All-MWC selection last season.

The Cowgirls are shooting 46 percent from the field and 72 percent from the free-throw line, outscoring their opponents by an average of 21 points in six games.

The team’s first conference matchup will be against Colorado State, ranked eighth in the preseason polls, on Jan. 5. The real challenge will likely be immediately following that game, when the Cowgirls take on the MWC’s No. 1 seat holder, San Diego State.

The Cowgirls are coached by Joe Legerski, who was an assistant coach for women’s basketball at the U for 12 seasons.

Liz Frome