LARAMIE — Simply returning all 10 players from a year ago suggested to University of Wyoming Cowgirls coach Joe Legerski that his team would be better offensively.
But this good?
Probably not even the UW women’s basketball coach with the most wins in team history saw this coming.
Through the first month of nonconference play, the Cowgirls are averaging 71.0 points a game, which tops all Mountain West teams. Wyoming is also first in scoring margin (plus 15.7), field goal percentage (44.9) and 3-point field goal percentage (40.8).
The Cowgirls have four players among the top 12 in the MW in scoring and the top two shooters in the league.
It has helped UW to a 5-1 start heading into this weekend’s northern road trip to Montana on Thursday and Montana State on Saturday.
“At the start of the year in practice, we knew we could score,” Legerski tells the Laramie Boomerang (http://bit.ly/QFb4A4). “I was worried that our defense on the flip side was the reason we were scoring. It’s nice to be able to play other teams and find out we’re pretty strong offensively. And just the comfort level of this team this year, they know what to expect.
“They want to go out and prove they’re better than what they did a year ago. And they are better.”
Last year, Wyoming averaged 58.7 points while finding themselves, especially early on.
This season, the Cowgirls have had no such problem locating an offense.
Senior Chaundra Sewell leads the team in scoring at 13.5 points a game, with sophomore Kaitlyn Mileto right behind at 13.3, sophomore Kayla Woodward at 12.0 and senior Ashley Sickles at 11.7.
Each of the four has taken turns leading the Cowgirls in scoring.
Sewell also leads the team and the MW in field goal shooting at 57.1 percent.
Mileto is second in the league at 50.8 and No. 2 in 3-point shooting at 57.7 percent. Mileto’s 3-point shooting also ranks her No. 7 in the nation. Woodward ranks seventh in the MW at 37.0 percent while Sickles is ninth at 33.3.
“We’re difficult to guard because Kaitlyn and Kayla can really shoot it from the perimeter,” Legerski said. “And Ashley is the same way, a player who can step out and put a lot of pressure on people from 3-point range.”
And when the Cowgirls do miss, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll get the rebound and score with that.
UW is averaging 14.5 offensive rebounds a game and is third in the MW in overall rebounding at 43.5 per game.