Baker and Roberts Lead Cowgirls to Victory over Nevada, 72-59

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RENO, Nev. (Jan. 14, 2017) — Juniors Natalie Baker and Liv Roberts each finished the night with double-doubles to give the Wyoming women’s basketball team (13-3 overall, 5-0 MW) a 13-point victory, 72-59 over the Nevada Wolf Pack (6-10, 0-5 MW) on Saturday night. The Cowgirls have now won seven straight games, which is the longest since the 2009 season.
 
“We can talk all we want about what a team is going to do in practice. We knew they were going to be aggressive, we would have to change cuts in the offense, it happens and is different from what we practiced,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “We had too many turnovers in the first half with 15 and 12 coming in the first quarter. We shot well from the field, just didn’t hang on to the basketball.  We made the adjustment to our spread offense, which took away the standing around in the motion. Then the first four to six minutes of the third quarter, we came out strong defensively and made some big shots. I couldn’t ask any more of the players than I did today. We played fewer kids more minutes, but because of the offense it forced us to do that.”

Baker finished with her second double-double of the week with 14 points and ten rebounds, while Roberts led the way with 17 points and 11 boards for her fourth double-double of the year. Senior Hailey Ligocki finished her night with 14 points followed by sophomore Marta Gomez with 13 points off the bench. The Cowgirls shot a season-high 56.6 percent (25-45) from the field and 60.0 percent (9-15) from beyond the arc. As a team, they out rebounded Nevada 33-22 and had 18 assists on 25 baskets.

 “All we are doing is trying to get better each and every day. Once again, Natalie (Baker) with a double-double, Liv (Roberts) with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Hailey (Ligocki) and Marta (Gomez) came through and we needed every one of them in the last three or four minutes of the game. We also did a good job on the defensive end especially limiting them to one and out. Nevada puts pressure on you. They have good post players and tremendous shooters.”  

Nevada was led by sophomore AJ Cephas with 11 points and three steals. Sophomore Terae Briggs added ten points and four rebounds, while T Moe brought down a team-high five rebound and eight points. The Wolf Pack shot 42.9 percent (24-56) from the field and 37.5 percent (6-16) from beyond the arc.   

Out of the break, the Cowgirls would increase the lead to double-figures, 42-32, with a 9-0 run. A basket by Cephas ended a three minute scoring drought for the Wolf Pack with Wyoming taking a 45-35 advantage in to the media timeout. The teams combined for 12 points with the Cowgirls taking a 52-40 lead to the fourth quarter. After a three by junior Ashlee Jones cut the deficit to single digits, 52-43, Wyoming went on a 15-6 scoring run to push the lead to 18, 67-49. It went back and forth in the final four minutes with the Cowgirls holding on for the 72-59 victory.

Roberts would hit the first basket of the game for Wyoming but it was tough going for the Cowgirls with eight turnovers through the first media timeout. Down 7-5, UW would score five straight to take its first lead of the game, 10-7. Nevada scored 10 of the next 13 points to take a 17-13 advantage after the first ten minutes. The Cowgirls committed 12 first quarter turnovers which resulted in 12 points for the Wolf Pack. Wyoming came out and scored two quick baskets to even up the score at 17 all in the second period. Started by a basket from Moe, Nevada regained a five-point lead, 25-20, with 6:23 left on the clock. UW closed out the half on a 13-7 run to head in to the locker room up one, 33-32.

Three Cowgirls finished the first half with eight points while Roberts led the way with six rebounds. Wyoming shot 11-20 (.500) from the field, 5-10 (.500) from three while out rebounding the Wolf Pack, 17-7. Nevada was led by Briggs with six points and two rebounds. Senior Stephanie Schmid and Moe each added five points. The Wolf Pack shot 12-26 (.462) from the field.

Wyoming returns home to begin a two-game homestand on Wednesday. The Cowgirls will host the San Jose State Spartans in the Arena-Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. MT.