LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Senior Marquelle Dent recorded a season-high 30 points to lead the Wyoming basketball team (8-4 overall, 1-1 MW) to a 15-point win, 68-53, over the Nevada Wolf Pack (1-12 overall, 0-2 MW) on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.
"Going in to today's game, there were a lot question marks to be answered and there still are several questions as we move forward. To be able to get this victory today I'm happy for everyone who has on a Wyoming jersey," UW head coach Joe Legerski said. "Nothing is easy when you are in conference play."
Dent finished her night with 30-points just two shy of her career high plus five assists and four steals. She was 12-of-20 from the field and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Natalie Baker followed with 13 points while Liv Roberts chipped in 11 and six boards. Marta Gomez brought down a career-high ten rebounds. Wyoming shot 23-of-51 (.451) from the field and 18-of-23 (.783) from the free throw line. The Cowgirls also out rebounded Nevada, 38-30.
"I thought Marquelle was simply Marquelle. She is a special player and there was no doubt we would keep her at the point and fill in around with everyone else. She responded with a big game, we needed every one of those points and her leadership," Legerski added. "There were good performances by a number of players. Hailey Ligocki did a nice job defensively when Liv got into foul trouble. Rachelle Tucker came off the bench and gave us some athleticism to be able to rebound. Natalie's three down the stretch really helped seal this win for us. There were a number of players that will have to step up as we move forward without Jordan Kelley."
The Wolf Pack were led by Nyasha Lesure who recorded 24 points and seven rebounds. Teige Zeller chipped in ten points off the bench. Nevada was 22-of-56 (.393) from the field.An 11-4 run to begin the third quarter propelled the Cowgirls to a double-digit lead, 41-31, headed into the first media timeout. The Wolf Pack scored five unanswered to pull within five, 41-36, but UW scored the final four points to take a 45-36 advantage going into the final quarter. The Cowgirls built a 12-point lead, 54-42, four minutes in to the fourth quarter. Nevada was able to pull to within eight, 54-46, but the lead and game were never in jeopardy as the Cowgirls went on to the 68-53 victory.
It was low scoring through the first five minutes of the game as UW took a 7-6 lead to the first media timeout. A 6-2 run by the Cowgirls opened up a five point advantage, 13-8. A three by Bergman cut in to the lead, 13-11 with 2:22 in the first quarter. The Cowgirls scored four of the final six points to make the score 17-13 at the end of one. Nevada scored the first five points of the second quarter to regain an 18-17 lead. A jumper by Dent gave the Cowgirls the lead and then the teams traded scores over the next several minutes. With the score 26-25 in favor of UW, the Cowgirls closed out the half scoring four of six to take a 30-27 into the lockerroom.
Dent led all scorers with 16 followed by Gomez and Tucker with five. Two players finished with three rebounds. Wyoming shot 10-of-27 (.370) from the field and 9-of-10 (.900) from the free throw line. Nevada was led by Lesure with 12 points and three rebounds. Bergman came in and added seven points off the bench. The Wolf Pack shot 12-of-25 (.480) from the field.
Wyoming will be on the road for its next two contests. The Cowgirls will take on Air Force on Wednesday with tip set for 7 p.m. MT in Colorado Springs.