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Former Gillette star Jordan Kelley plays well in first basketball game as Cowgirl

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LARAMIE, Wyoming — Jordan Kelley didn't know what to expect in her first basketball game as a University of Wyoming Cowgirl.

It wasn't just because it was her first outing at UW since she transferred from Washington State in the spring of 2013.

It also was the former Gillette standout's first regular-season college game since March 9, 2012, due to injuries and sitting out a transfer year. A span of 976 days.

"I was actually joking before the game about 'do I even remember how to sub in?' and things like that," Kelley said with a big smile.

"I've played basketball for a long time. It was like riding a bike. It was a little different. But once we got going, it was just playing the game again."

Kelley's statistics show she remembered how to play. The 5-foot-10 guard scored seven points, pulled down six rebounds and had five assists in 13 minutes off the bench as UW routed Division II Western State Colorado University 104-29.

Sure, the competition will improve dramatically for Wyoming, starting Friday night when it was to host Denver at the Arena-Auditorium.

But when you haven't played a game in nearly three years, it probably was just fine for Kelley to wade slowly into open waters rather than getting thrown immediately into the deep end.

"I was most pleased with just coming off the bench and bringing some energy," Kelley said. "Scoring and rebounding and assists, that stuff doesn't matter to me.

"I just want to bring energy, and I knew when (the bench) went in, some energy picked up. When you're playing like that, that's the best time to play."

Coach Joe Legerski said during the preseason that Kelley would have been worth two to three more wins if the NCAA had granted her waiver request last season. He is not backing away from that prediction now.

"(Kelley) had a tremendous stat line. I thought she played very well," Legerski said. "We discussed with the team that Jordan Kelley's line is what we need from more players.

"You may not have had the most points, the most rebounds, the most assists. But her stat sheet was filled up."

One of the things Kelley didn't forget in her time off was how much she loves to drive to the basket.

Her first point as a Cowgirl came on a free throw after getting fouled while posting up inside. She later added a three-point play after getting knocked down on a driving basket

"That's a big part of my game," she said. "I love contact and getting to the rim. One of my roles is being a leader coming off the bench. I bring a lot of energy because I'm always amped up."


Information from: Laramie Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com

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