UW women’s hoops adds JC player

Here is the release from Wyoming on it’s latest women’s basketball signee. I’ve been told the University of Utah made a push late to sign her, but she stayed with UW.

LARAMIE — University of Wyoming women’s basketball coach Joe Legerski today announced the addition of Aubry Boehme (Bay Me) to this year’s recruiting class. She will attend the University of Wyoming beginning in the fall of 2012.

“The addition of Aubry solidifies our post play,” said head coach Joe Legerski. “She is a tremendous competitor and will have an immediate impact on the Wyoming program. Her toughness and desire to win are second to none.”

Boehme is a 6-foot forward from Smithfield, Utah, who attended Otero Junior College in Colorado where she earned First Team All-America honors last season. She was also selected All-Region and to the Region IX All-Tournament Team during her sophomore year after averaging 17 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest.

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Campigli not coming back to UW

Here is the news release from Wyoming that women’s basketball player Bec Campigli won’t return for her

Laramie — University of Wyoming head women’s basketball coach Joe Legerski announced today that Bec Campigli will not be returning to the Wyoming basketball program. She has elected to leave the program to pursue a professional career in Australia.

“Bec has decided not to return to the program in order to pursue a professional career,” said Legerski. “We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

A 5-10, guard from Melbourne, Australia, she played in 33 games last season, and averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 16.6 minutes a game.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com

Cowgirls knocked out of MWC Tournament by Lobos

Pretty bad day for Wyoming basketball Wednesday. The men lost to TCU 70-61 in the play-in game for the third time in the last four years, and a few hours later the women were upset by 13-17 New Mexico in the quarterfinals 67-61.

Senior post Hillary Carlson teared up in the postgame interview session and  had to gather herself. UW just didn’t play well. It didn’t shoot well and the Lobos went on a 15-5 run to start the second half.

To UW’s credit it made a run of its own. It cut the lead to 59-56 with 3:37 to play. But that was as close as the Cowgirls would get.

An offensive foul on senior Aubrey Vandiver with less than a minute to play ended any hopes of a UW rally.

“It’s not about one call. It never is one way or the other,” Legerski said. … “It didn’t go our way. Move on.”

Vandiver was called for technical foul as she exchanged some pleasantries with freshman guard Jasmine Patterson. UW went on a 9-1 run after that. That seemed to spark the team.

“Well, we just came out with more energy, I guess,” Vandiver said. “We eliminated them on the boards. They didn’t get second opportunities during that run.”

Two stats that hurt UW: it allowed 20 points off 14 turnovers and allowed New Mexico 14 second-chance points.

Cowgirls are 22-8 and will play in the WNIT for the fourth time in the last six years. They will find out their opponent and bracket Monday night.

Pokes confident heading into play-in game

The Wyoming men’s basketball team is at least saying the right things heading into today’s play-in game with TCU here at the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.

“The feeling that’s going on is positive. We think we can win. We’re going in with the mindset to win,” sophomore guard Desmar Jackson said.

This will be the Cowboys’ third play-in game in the last four years, and they’ve lost their previous two including a humbling 59-40 loss to Air Force last year.

“I think there are some pretty sour memories of the play-in game last year,” sophomore forward Amath M’Baye said. “I think everybody here is ready for this game and I think we will be better prepared for this game and this team will have a different mentality.”

See Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com for more on this game, and on how the Cowgirls hope to end their MWC Tournament woes this year.

Also, live blog links are above this story for today’s UW men’s and women’s games. Hope you will join me.

No Cowboys on MWC all-conference teams

It can’t come as a big surprise that no Wyoming men’s basketball players made the first, second or third All-Mountain West Conference teams that were released Monday. You don’t get a lot a all-conference players when you’re 10-20 and 3-13 in league play.

But I thought sophomore guard Desmar Jackson would make the third team. He was a third team pick last season and was the league’s Freshman of the Year where he averaged 11.8 points per game and and 44 steals. As a sophomore Jackson was fifth in the league in scoring (14.7 ppg) and was second with 61 steals. He also was 12th in the MWC in rebounding (4.9 rpg).

Jackson and sophomore forward Amath M’Baye both earned honorable mention All-MWC honors. M’Baye played like an all-conference player in the second half of the conference season as he averaged 16.7 points per game over the last seven contests. He scored 10 points or more 20 times, but M’Baye didn’t do enough early in the season, at least in the eyes of the voters (which consisted of coaches and select media) to get into the first three teams.

I was one of those media members that voted. I had Jackson on the third team. TCU, which is 10-21 and 1-15 in the MWC got point guard Hank Thorns on the third team. He leads the MWC in assists at seven per game.

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Couldn’t be happier for UW women’s players Hillary Carlson and Aubrey Vandiver. Both were first team All-MWC picks, and Vandiver was the Player of the Year.

Two great players that need to play great in the tournament.

Congrats ladies!

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A couple of quotes from the final MWC coaches’ teleconference Monday:

“Players pretty much understand what BYU is and they come here because of that.” — Dave Rose on if he thinks BYU’s recruiting will be hurt or made harder with the dismissal of sophomore post Brandon Davies last week.

“I have no idea.” — UNLV’s Lon Kruger on if playing the MWC Tournament on the Rebles’ home floor at the Thomas & Mack Center will help his team. Here’s a clue coach, yes it will!!

“For the first time we know whether we win or not we’ll be in the (NCAA) Tournament.” — San Diego State’s 12th-year coach Steve Fisher on if his team is playing for seeding this week for the NCAA Tournament.

“You have to fight to keep your season alive, or it comes to an end.” — TCU’s Jim Christian

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An early prediction on who wins this tournament: UNLV beats New Mexico in the finals. UNLV has won five straight and nine of its last 11, and will upend San Diego State in the semis. New Mexico will beat BYU in the semis (after a hard-fought win over Colorado State in the quarterfinals Thursday) for its fifth straight win over the Cougars and third this season. The Cougars have no answer for New Mexico’s size.

If New Mexico beats UNLV then the MWC gets four teams in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. But UNLV will use the momentum of a home crowd and wins. It will be the Rebels, Cougars and Aztecs in the NCAAs. New Mexico and CSU go to the NIT. Air Force goes to the CBI.

Would love to hear your predictions.

Also the reminders above this story for the live blogs for all UW games, with two on Wednesday. Join me at about 2:45 p.m. for the men and at about 7:45 or so for the women. Links are on the main page of the blog.

Cowboys, Cowgirls prepare for MWC tourney

The brackets are out and the match-ups are set for the Mountain West Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. Action begins Tuesday.

The Wyoming men and women both play Wednesday. The Cowboys play TCU in the play-in game at 3 p.m. MST. The Cowgirls get a bye in the first round as the tournament’s third seed, and get the winner of Tuesday’s six-seven game between New Mexico and San Diego State at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

I like the men’s chances against TCU. UW beat TCU by 10 a few weeks ago and the Horned Frogs have lost 13 in a row. UW is 2-5 since interim coach Fred Langley took over. The play-in game often times comes down to who wants it the most. I think UW will do just enough to win by five.

The winner gets top-seeded BYU, and UW hung with the Cougars for a while before a 102-78 loss Saturday in Provo. But the Cowboys can’t look ahead to that, they need to focus on the Horned Frogs.

The Cowgirls’ opener scares me. Not because UW lost its regular-season finale by 16 at home to top-seeded BYU Saturday. But because both New Mexico and San Diego State know what it takes to win games at this event, and the Cowgirls are just 3-11.

Both teams are dangerous, but that’s not to say UW isn’t, either. I talked to coach Joe Legerski last Thursday — less than 24 hours after his team went on the road and won at San Diego State — and he said this team continues to amaze him and that no challenge is too big. It’s nice that the Cowgirls have four seniors who have played in this kind of environment. If UW can avoid a slow start Wednesday it wins. If it starts slow, it will be tough.

That would set up a semifinal matchup with second-seeded TCU Friday. TCU swept the regular-season series. You know what they say, it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season. Hope that isn’t the case for UW Wednesday.

Any thoughts?

I will be live blogging all UW men’s and women’s games from the tournament. More information will be sent out soon.

Here is the men’s bracket: http://www.themwc.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/mwc/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/mwc-11-m-baskbl-bracket

Here is the women’s bracket: http://www.themwc.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/mwc/sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/mwc-11-w-champ-bracket

Top UW-BYU basketball games

There isn’t much talk that Wednesday likely will be the last Wyoming-BYU men’s basketball game in Laramie, or at least for quite a while.

BYU moves to the West Coast Conference next season in hoops and most other sports, and will be an independent in football.

UW’s current basketball struggles has most to do with such little fanfare for Wednesday’s game. At 8-13 overall, 1-6 in the MWC and coming off a 39-point loss at No. 7 San Diego State last Saturday, most wonder how bad it will be Wednesday against No. 8 BYU.

The Cowboys have lost 11 straight to the Cougars dating back to 2005. The average margin of victory during that time for BYU has been about 13 points, and 17.5 points in the last five.

Good riddance if this is the last time UW sees BYU in Laramie, right?

But what is your favorite UW-BYU men’s basketball game or memory?

Even though I was only 11 years old at the time, my favorite was in 1982 when UW won at BYU 27-25.That win went a long way to helping the Cowboys get to the NCAA Tournament that year.

Other good ones include the last time UW swept BYU in the regular season, which was in 2005.

Steve McClain’s last game as UW’s coach was a loss to BYU in the semifinals of the MWC tournament in 2007. Not a favorite memory, but a memorable one.

Would love to hear yours.

See Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.comfor more on Wednesday’s game, including a look at what people are saying about BYU senior guard Jimmer Fredette, a candidate for Player of the Year in the country. Is he the best player to have played in the Arena-Auditorium? Would love to know your thoughts on that.

Also, the UW and BYU women play for first place in the MWC Wednesday. And, Wednesday is signing day for UW football. Look for a story on two of UW’s newest players from Germany in Wednesday’s papers. Also join me at 4 p.m. Wednesday for a live chat about the signing class and anything else UW related. See the top of this blog for the direct link.

Carlson wins weekly award again

Wyoming senior post Hillary Carlson is the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week for the third consecutive week.

She shares this week’s honor with BYU’s Mindy Bonham. It’s Carlson’s fourth weekly award this season and fifth of her career.

The Cheyenne Central graduate scored a career-high 34 points to start the week in a 69-61 win at UNLV on Jan. 26.  Carlson scored 13 of the Cowgirls first 27 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.  Against San Diego State on Jan. 29, Carlson finished with 16 points and seven rebounds as the Cowgirls won their fifth game in a row, 59-51.

UW plays at BYU Wednesday, with the winner having sole possession of first place in the MWC at the midway point of the conference season.

Carlson earns MWC women’s hoops honor

Wyoming senior forward Hillary Carlson has been named Mountain West Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the third time this season and fourth in her career. 

The Cheyenne Central graduate led the Cowgirls to a 2-0 record last week with a non-conference win over Seattle and an MWC win over Air Force.  Carlson scored 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and six blocked shots against Seattle.  Against Air Force, Carlson was just two points short of her career-high with 27 in just 21 minutes of action as UW won 96-54. 

For the week, Carlson averaged 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.  She shot .708 (17-24) from the field, including .667 (2-3) from three-point range, and .917 (11-12) from the free throw line.