Four Cowgirls recorded double-figures to lead the Wyoming basketball team to an eight-point win, 62-54, over the South Dakota Mines Hardrockers.
Redshirt sophomore Bailee Cotton led all scorers on the night with 16 while bringing down five rebounds. Junior Liv Roberts had 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds while sophomore Marta Gomez added 12 points. Sophomore Rachelle Tucker also chipped in ten points and three boards. Wyoming shot 21-of-61 (.344) from the field and 16-of-20 (.800) from the free throw line. The Cowgirls out rebounded the Hardrockers 42-26 and had 12 assists on 21 baskets.
“Anytime we get the opportunity to play exhibition, regular non-conference or conference play, we talk about being able to learn,” said head coach Joe Legerski. “Tonight was very much a learning experience for a young team. One of the things you could tell when the game got tight down towards the stretch no one wanted to shoot the basketball and someone had to make a play. During a timeout, we told everyone that if you are open, do what we’ve been training to do and Liv (Roberts) hit a three that allowed everyone to exhale. We had so many shots go in and out, and you could see people looking around and not taking a shot. That’s something we need to get answered, we knew that coming in to the season and you could see the frustration set in with the team.”
South Dakota Mines was led by Payton Humpal off the bench with eight points. Three other players had seven points each, while Anna Haugen had a team-high eight rebounds. The Hardrockers were 21-of-43 (.488) from the field and 3-of-14 (.214) from beyond the arc.
In the third quarter, both teams went several minutes before a basket by Cotton ended the scoring drought. UW scored the next two baskets to build its largest lead of the game, 43-32. A basket at the 4:02 by McCabe ended a six minute drought by the Hardrockers and started a 6-0 run to close it to 43-38. Tucker stopped the run and she would score four points to get the lead back to seven, 47-40, and Wyoming took a 49-44 advantage headed into the fourth quarter. South Dakota Mines was determined and tied up the game at 49 all with 6:44 remaining. Over the next several minutes, scoring would come from the free throw line. With 3:34 on the clock, Liv Roberts would hit a three making it a six-point contest, 56-50. The Cowgirls were able to hold on to that lead and go on to the 62-54 victory.
Cotton would score the first seven points of the game for the Cowgirls as they would build the early 12-4 lead. The Hardrockers battled back with a 7-2 run to pull within three, 14-11. UW responded with nine of the next 13 points to extend it back to 23-15. South Dakota Mines closed out the first quarter and the start of the second with six straight points to make it a two point game, 23-21. A three by Gomez ended a three-minute scoring drought for the Cowgirls making it 26-21. The Hardrockers wouldn’t go away as another 9-4 run pulled them even at 30. Wyoming answered with nine of the final 11 points to make it 39-32 headed into the locker room.
Cotton led all scorers in the game at half with 14. Gomez followed with ten points, while Roberts had four rebounds. South Dakota Mines was led by Humpal with eight points. The Cowgirls shot 13-of-30 (.433) from the field and recorded 12 rebounds.
Wyoming returns to action on Friday, Nov. 11 with its season opener against the Chadron State Eagles. The game is set for 5:30 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.