MORAGA, Calif. -
Behind a career-high 32 points and eight rebounds from junior guard Marquelle Dent, the Wyoming women's basketball team (3-2 overall) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 67-53 win over the Howard Bison (0-6 overall) on Saturday afternoon at the St. Mary's Thanksgiving Classic.
Dent finished her night with 32 points and eight rebounds while shooting 4 of 7 from beyond the arc and 10 of 11 from the charity stripe. Senior forward Kayla Woodward contributed ten points and nine rebounds followed by junior guard Jordan Kelley with a career-high eight points and nine rebounds. Wyoming shot 23 of 59 (.390) from the field and 9 of 22 (.409) from three and outrebounded Howard 45-43.
Howard was led by sophomore guard Te'Shya Heslip with 14 points, four assists and three steals. Senior forward Cheyenne Brown chipped in 13 points and five rebounds. Two players finished the night with nine rebounds each. The Bison shot 22 of 66 (.333) from the field and 7 of 12 (.583) from the free throw line.
"I was really happy that it was a physical game and we responded not only as a team but Marquelle Dent really responded," head coach Joe Legerski said. "We knew that we had something working and Marquelle was really focused in. She was 4-7 from three and 10-11 from the charity stripe. I also thought Jordan Kelley gave us a big lift. It was her first start and knowing the game was going to be very physical we had to make some adjustments to the starting line-up. She really responded well with eight points, nine rebounds and four assists, which is so valuable to our team. We needed other players to step up and contribute which is a positive to helping us win."
Freshman forward Bailee Cotton and Dent recorded nine of the Cowgirls points to start the second half and increase the Cowgirl lead to 11, 40-29. Over the next four minutes, Wyoming held the Bison to just one point and scored eight to give them an 18-point advantage, 48-30. A basket by Hannah Timmons ended the scoring drought for Howard, but the Cowgirls built the lead back to 23, 59-36, with 6:11 remaining in the game. Even though, the Cowgirls would be outscored 17-8 the remainder of the game they would still come out on top with a 67-53 victory.
Mileto got the Cowgirls off to a quick start with a three-point field goal to help Wyoming build an 8-2 advantage. Three straight baskets by Victoria Gonzales would even up the score at eight. A basket by Dent would end a four minute scoreless stretch for the Cowgirls and begin a 17-2 scoring run including 14 straight to extend the lead to double-digits, 25-10. Howard responded with 12 unanswered to make it a three point contest, 25-22. Free throws by Dent ended another scoreless stretch by Wyoming. She would score the final six points of the half for the Cowgirls as they took a 31-24 lead into the locker room.
Wyoming will continue play on the road next week with two games. The Cowgirls will play the Montana Lady Griz, on Thursday, followed by the Montana State Bobcats, on Saturday. Thursday's contest is set for 7 p.m. MT followed by a 5 p.m. MT start on Saturday.