LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming women's basketball team (2-1 overall) couldn't overcome a 19-point first half deficit as it suffered a 77-66 loss against the Idaho Vandals (2-2 overall) on Tuesday night.
Four of five starters finished the night in double-figures led by junior guard Marquelle Dent. She finished with a season-high 19 points and eight assists, while shooting 6 of12 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free throw line. Senior forward Kayla Woodward recorded her second straight double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman forward Bailee Cotton recorded a career-high 15 points followed by senior guard Kaitlyn Mileto with 12 points.
Wyoming shot 20 of 66 (.303) from the field and 17 of 20 (.850) from the free throw line. Idaho outrebounded the Cowgirls 47-40.
The Vandals were led by senior guard Stacey Barr with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds. Forward Brooke Reilly finished with 19 points while guard Christina Salvatore added 18. Idaho was 26 of 61 (.426) from the field and 16 of 26 (.615) from the free throw line.
"Idaho played extremely well. We made more than one mistake defensively and sometimes with young players that is going to happen," head coach Joe Legerski said. "We got down by 19, had to fight back and pulled to within two with 12 minutes to go. It seemed like we had a lot of momentum on our side, then we turned the ball over two of the next five possessions, missed some shots that we needed to have which was the difference in the ball game. We were able to continue to defend but when you can't score it gets a little deflating for a young group. I take nothing away from Idaho, they played a great game."
Out of the halftime break, Dent recorded a three-point play to make it a nine-point contest, 40-31. Stacy Barr scored four of the next seven points for the Vandals to give them a 13-point lead, 47-34, with 17:30 left in the game. Wyoming responded with an 8-2 run to close the gap to seven, 49-42. After two free throws by Idaho, the Cowgirls battled back with 7-0 run to close the gap to two, 51-49. Over the next four minutes, the Vandals built the lead back to ten, 59-49. Wyoming pulled to within seven, 61-54, with 7:28 remaining but would fall by the final of 77-66.
Two straight three-point field goals by Salvatore gave the Vandals an early 6-0 lead. A basket by Kaylie Rader got the Cowgirls in the scoring column at the 17:29 mark. Idaho scored three more points to take a 9-2 advantage through the first media timeout. A basket by Barr made it a nine-point lead, 11-2, for the Vandals. A three-point field goal by Dent ended a four minute scoring drought for the Cowgirls and they would close the gap to five, 15-10. Idaho responded with a 10-0 run to increase the lead to 15, 25-10. Free throws by Woodward ended the scoreless stretch for Wyoming unfortunately the Vandals scored eight straight to give them their largest lead of the half at 19, 33-14. Five points from Dent would start a 14-0 run by the Cowgirls to pull them to within five, 33-28. Idaho closed out the half with two field goals and three-point play to take a 40-28 lead into the locker room.
Woodward led the Cowgirls at half with 11 points and seven rebounds. Dent finished with ten points and three assists. Wyoming shot 9 of 31 (.290) from the field and 6 of 15 (.400) from beyond the arc. Idaho was led by Salvatore with 17 points while shooting 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. The Vandals shot 16 of 36 (.444) from the field and outrebounded the Cowgirls 25-17.
Wyoming will be on the road for the first time this season at the St. Mary's Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic. The Cowgirls will face the Iowa State Cyclones, on Friday, followed by the Howard Bison on Saturday. Both games are set for 1 p.m. MT in Moraga, Calif.