LAS VEGAS, Nev. -
The Wyoming basketball team (9-5, 2-2 MW) scored a season-low 37 points in its 29-point loss, 66-37, against the UNLV Lady Rebels (8-6 overall, 1-2 MW) on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“It was a combination of things that happened to begin this game. UNLV played very well, made shots and their confidence was very high,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said. “We turned the ball over, couldn’t get any easy shots and we were down 11-2. We were concerned with this happening and with a young team sometimes they don’t see it happening. The aggressor takes over and UNLV did a good job with that tonight. We battled back in the third quarter and relaxed a little bit but it didn’t come easy. We were 0-of-21 from three and it was across the board. You won’t beat anyone whether it’s on the road or home with those types of numbers.”
Senior Marquelle Dent led the way with 12 points and three assists in 36 minutes of action. Junior Hailey Ligocki recorded a career-high eight points while freshman Marta Gomez added five points. Sophomore Natalie Baker brought down a team-high eight rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 15-of-53 (.283) and 0-of-21 (.000). Wyoming’s 201 game streak of hitting a three in a game was snapped.
“We are very young with a great deal of inexperience. I thought that Marquelle was the only player that played with composure in the first half. This is your opportunity to define who you are as a player. We will go back to work on Monday. I hope we are going back to work because I know I am. We have to get better.”
Three players finished the night in double-figures for UNLV. Nikki Wheatley recorded 19 points and ten rebounds. Brooke Johnson followed with 17 points and Dylan Gonzalez added 13 points. The Lady Rebels shot 25-of-63 (.397) from the field and out rebounded UW 48-29.
A 9-0 run in the third quarter closed the gap to 17 points, 46-29, giving Dent her tenth point of the game. The Cowgirls shrunk the deficit down to 15 with seconds left in the frame to make it 48-33 but a three by Johnson stopped the momentum. UNLV scored 15 of the final 19 points to come away with the 66-37 victory.
UNLV jumped out scoring five points within the first 30 seconds. After a basket by Dent, the Lady Rebels rattled off nine straight to extend the lead to double-digits, 14-2. Ligocki hit a basket to end a five-minute scoring drought. Unfortunately, the Cowgirls poor shooting continued as they went down 22-6. UW shot 3-of-14 (.214) from the field and 0-of-6 (.000) from beyond the arc. UNLV stretched it to a 22-point contest, 30-6, with an 8-0 run begin quarter number two. It was even the rest of the way but the Cowgirls went into the locker room down 43-18.
Dent led the way with eight points followed by Ligocki with a career-high six points and Baker with four. The Cowgirls shot 8-of-28 (.286) from the field and 0-of-13 (.000) from beyond the arc. The Lady Rebels were 18-of-34 (.529) from the field and out rebounded UW 23-13.
Wyoming returns home next Wednesday by hosting the San Jose State Spartans. The game time is set for 7 p.m. MT at the Arena-Auditorium.