LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Nine straight free throws by its opponent and scoring drought in the final minutes of the game proved to be key in the Cowgirl basketball teams (1-0 overall) six-point loss, 70-64, against the Saint Mary's Gaels (2-0 overall) on Friday night.
"It was a competitive game all the way throughout the night," UW head coach Joe Legerski. "I thought we played extremely well in the first 15 minutes of the game and then we needed to maintain it. One of the things coming into the game was Saint Mary's experience and it really showed. They kept fighting back, making plays and down the stretch hit shots. We had opportunities, good looks at the basket and some nights you come up short. The play of Marquelle Dent kept us in the basketball game along with Liv Roberts who played and shot the ball well. You also see the balance the Gaels had with five players in double-digits, which is a big part of what we need to work on."
Dent finished with a season-high 21 points along with six assists in 37 minutes of action. She was 6-of-15 from the field and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Freshman Marta Gomez recorded a career-high 18 points while Roberts added a career-high 14 points. Senior Jordan Kelley finished the night with double-digits in rebounds with ten. UW shot 21-of-55 (.382) from the field and 16-of-23 (.696) from the charity stripe.
Four starters finished the game in double-figures for the Gaels led by Sydney Raggio who finished her night with 16 points and seven rebounds. Devon Brookshire added 15 points and six boards followed by Shannon Mauldin and Stella Beck with 11 and 10 respectively. Saint Mary's shot 24-of-54 (.444) from the field and 18-of-24 (.750) from the free throw line.
The Gaels regained a lead out of the halftime break with a basket from Raggio which they would build to four, 38-34. UW battled back to go up one 42-41. A 9-4 run to close out the third by Saint Mary's made the score 50-46 in its favor. Two straight three-point field goals from Dent and Gomez to begin the fourth quarter pushed the Cowgirls back ahead, 52-50. Free throws made it a four point contest which was quickly tied up at 56 with 5:34 remaining in the game. SMC went up by three, 59-56, but five unanswered by Wyoming made it a three-point contest, 62-59. Started by a Raggio layup, the Gaels scored the final 11 of 13 points including nine free throws to give them a 70-64 win.
Gomez hit three out of the gate for the Cowgirls to get them on the board. SMC scored the next four points to give them a one-point advantage, 4-3. After a couple of empty trips down the court, another three by Gomez gave UW a 6-4 lead. Free throws by each team continued to give the Cowgirls an 8-6 advantage through the first media timeout. Six straight points by Wyoming increased the margin to eight, 14-6. The Gaels outscored UW 5-3 the rest of the quarter but the Cowgirls held a 17-11 lead. Sparked by a three-point play by Dent, an 11-2 run by UW increased the lead to double-digits, 28-13. Saint Mary's responded with ten unanswered to close the gap to five, 28-23. A jumper from Dent ended a four-minute drought by the Cowgirl unfortunately the Gaels scored the final seven to even it up at 30 headed into the half.
Dent led the way with 11 points and four assists in 17 minutes of action. Gomez had six points and Campbell with five. Kelley recorded a team-high eight rebounds. Wyoming shot 12-of-26 (.462) from the field but just 3-of-7 (429) from the free throw line.
Wyoming will return to the court on Tuesday against the Cal State Fullerton Titans. The game is set for an 8 p.m. MT tip-off in Fullerton.