FULLERTON, Calif. -
Behind a career high eight three-point field goals and 24 points from Marta Gomez, the Wyoming basketball team (2-1 overall) pulled out a 61-56 victory in overtime against the Cal State Fullerton Titans (2-3 overall) on Tuesday night. The eight three-point field goals in a game ties a single game record by a Cowgirl for the first time since Carly Stucky against UT Pan American on Dec. 21, 2001.
“This is going to be a rollercoaster of a ride. It may be from game to game or within games,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said. “In the first quarter, Fullerton tried to pick us up full court, we broke the pressure and were able to get easy shots. They went to a half court zone in the second quarter, we had some looks and for this young group they got tight. There is no doubt we struggled from the free throw line and sometimes you have to figure out how to fight to get a win.”
Gomez finished her night with 24 points, shooting 8-of-17 from the field in 40 minutes of play. Marquelle Dent followed with 15 points and four assists in 45 minutes while Jordan Kelley ended the game one assist shy of a triple double with 12 points, 10 boards and nine assists. Wyoming shot 22-of-60 (.367) from the field and out rebounded the Titans 36-30.
“Marta (Gomez) stepped up and hit big threes in the overtime to give us enough breathing room. Then we hit just enough free throws to be able to seal the victory. We needed everyone one of those shots that Marta hit tonight, because we did struggle from beyond the arc. At times, we may need to rely on her and tonight she kept her composure.”
Cal State Fullerton was led by Jade Vega and Dani Craig with 13 points each, while Samantha Logan chipped in nine. Michelle Berry finished the night with a team high seven rebounds. The Titans shot 21-of-43 (.488) from the field, but committed 19 turnovers.
Gabriel scored the first six points of the third quarter for the Titans to help them maintain a 33-28 lead. A bucket by Kelley started a 6-0 run including a three by Gomez helped UW regain a two-point advantage, 35-33. A basket late in the quarter by Berry evened things up at 35 all. It remained even through the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, 44-44. After free throws pushed Cal State Fullerton ahead, 46-44, Gomez hit her sixth three of the game to put UW up one, 47-46. The Cowgirls would have a couple of chances to pull ahead with free throws. Liv Roberts would hit one of two giving UW a 48-46 advantage. With time winding down, Vega hit a shot to send it into overtime, 48-48.
In the overtime, the Cowgirls took the lead first 50-48. A bank shot by Logan put the Titans up one, 51-50, which was answered with another pair of threes giving UW a 56-51 advantage. Despite a push from Fullerton at the end, Wyoming held on for the 61-56 victory.
A 13-3 first quarter run by the Cowgirls propelled them to a double-digit lead, 18-8. Gomez finished with six early points followed by three others with four to give UW a 21-11 advantage through the first ten minutes of the game. Wyoming shot 9-of-17 (.529) and had eight points off turnovers. Fullerton not only cut into the lead but went up by three, 24-21, with a 13-0 run of its own. A bucket by Kelley ended an eight-minute scoring drought to pull UW to within one, 24-23. Unfortunately, CSF took a 27-23 lead going into the locker room.
Gomez and Kelley each finished the half with six points while Roberts brought down four boards. Wyoming shot 10-of-28 (.357) from the field and 2-of-8 (.250) from three. The Titans were 11-of-21 (.524) from the field and 5-of-10 (.500) from beyond the arc. They also held the rebound margin 15-14 in the first half.
Wyoming will be back in action on Friday against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. The game is set for 7 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.