Mar 14, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorCASPER -- University of Wyoming head women's basketball coach Joe Legerski spent Monday watching the Region IX women's basketball semifinals at Casper College.
Legerski was scouting players after the Cowgirls were eliminated from the Mountain West Conference semifinals, losing to San Diego State on Friday night 73-55 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
"It's different," said Legerski about already being in the offseason. "We have been in the postseason five of the last six years. We had 20-win seasons five of the last six years."
The Cowgirls finished the year with a 12-17 record and counted on many underclassmen to provide leadership.
"I could not be more proud of this team for having so many young players," Legerski said. "We started three freshmen. The future looks bright for Wyoming."
The Cowgirls upset TCU 61-44 in the first round of the MWC tournament.
"I was very happy with the way that we played in conference play and then at the tournament," Legerski said. "The first game against TCU was as well as we played all year long."
UW freshman Kayla Woodward had 17 points in the win.
"Kayla had a tremendous night," Legerski said.
In the semifinals, the Cowgirls played well in the first half but couldn't do stay with SDSU in the second half.
"San Diego State was a our conference champion and they are very good," Legerski said. "We held our own for about 30 minutes. They stepped it to another level. We just didn't have that level to keep them in contact score-wise." New Mexico beat SDSU in the title game on Saturday night.
"The Mountain West has been very good over the years," Legerski said. "The league continues to be strong and will always be strong. Wyoming has a place in it."
Legerski watched the Central Wyoming College and Otero Junior College game on Monday night in the first semifinal.
Otero eliminated CWC 66-53 after the Rustlers came into the tournament as the No. 6 seed from the north division.
Northeastern Colorado knocked off Casper College in the other semifinal game.
"I enjoy watching Region IX basketball," Legerski said. "They have tremendous coaching. Their players continue to get better. Hopefully, we end up having some players from Region IX."
Otero beat Northeastern 67-61 in the title game on Tuesday night.
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