LARAMIE — The Wyoming women’s basketball team will have all-conference senior Liv Roberts back on the court Saturday when the Cowgirls begin their season with a home game against Division II Adams State (2 p.m.).
The Cowgirls looked pretty solid without her in their last game. Wyoming dominated Chadron State 77-25 in an exhibition game last week.
“What I was pleased with was that defensively we played well for 40 minutes,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “... There are times where a game starts getting to that point that players decide they just want to play offense and not worry about defense, and our team continues to defend. And that I was really pleased with. I thought everybody stepped up and played better, and that’s a plus for us. But there’s always learning to be found in every game, regardless of the outcome.”
Roberts is returning from an ACL tear she suffered against Colorado State in February.
“We’re going to have Liv on limited minutes over here over the next couple weeks,” Legerksi said. “But she has been cleared. She’s looked very good in practice. She just continues to get stronger and more comfortable, but we’ll still have her on limited minutes.
“But ... we do that with all our players. We made a decision over the last couple years that we’re going to try to keep people around 30, 32 minutes a game and not try to get up there between the 36- and 40-minute mark.”
The Cowgirls were predicted to finish second in the Mountain West this season. Adams State, a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, went 2-23 last season, winning just one conference game.
“Well, right now, early in the year, what we focus more on is ourselves,” Legerski said. “We’re just trying to get so much done offensively and defensively. We’ll take a look at Adams State at the end of the week and get ready for them Saturday, as well as the same for Montana on Monday. But early in the season, it still is mostly about Wyoming and trying to get us to perfect some things.”
The Cowgirls have a busy slate early. After playing Adams State on Saturday, Wyoming hosts Montana on Monday and plays Thursday at Denver.
“The biggest thing is early in the year, you need a little more time to prepare,” Legerski said. “... It doesn’t give you a great deal of time to make adjustments from what you see in one game to the next. It’s something we get used to later on. But those are the challenges of playing so many games within such a short timeframe.”