DENVER, Colo. -
Behind a double-double effort by senior Marquelle Dent, the Wyoming basketball team (4-3 overall) earned an 11-point victory, 75-64, over the Denver Pioneers (1-7 overall) on Wednesday afternoon. With 21 points in the game, Dent reached 1,000 points for her career and now has 1,017. She is the 23rd player in school history to reach that mark and the tenth under head coach Joe Legerski.
"Marquelle has been playing well all season," Legerski said. "I knew she was only four points away from 1,000 and if we would have been at home we would have stopped the game to honor her. She leads this group and not only did she move up in points but on the all-time assist list. She is a competitor, taken on a leadership role and we are still trying to improve upon her game. With 21 points, 10 assists in 40 minutes that's a night out for her."
Along with her points, Dent finished with a season-high ten assists for her fourth double-double of her career. She also moved into fourth place all-time in assists with 392. Freshman Marta Gomez added 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds while Jordan Kelley chipped in 13 points and five boards. Wyoming shot 24-of-52 (.462) from the field and 18-of-24 (.750) from the charity stripe.
"We are trying to adapt to this group," added Legerski. "The first half DU ran a two-three zone so we ran our zone offense except we were 4-16 from beyond the arc. We had good looks but nothing seemed to be falling. In the second half, we changed to run our motion and got the ball inside and attacked the basket. We shot better from the field and from three in the half and I give credit to Marta who was able to get open."
Five players finished the night in double-figures for the Pioneers led by Jacqlyn Poss. She recorded 20 points followed by Jordyn Alt and Paige Bradley with 12 each. Jesse Spittel and Samantha Romanowski also chipped in ten points while Ciera Morgan grabbed ten boards. DU shot 25-of-59 (.424) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 31-30.
Out of the halftime break, Wyoming scored the first five points to make it 32-27. A three by Poss would end the scoreless stretch for the Pioneers which was answered with a 5-0 run to extend the lead back to seven, 37-30. A basket and free throws from Denver closed the gap to three, 37-34. The Cowgirls closed out the quarter on an 8-2 run including a bank shot three by Dent to make it 45-36. Wyoming increased its advantage to 13, 55-42, with 7:51 left in the game. The Pioneers battled back making it a seven-point contest, 61-54. A couple of free throws pushed it back to a nine point game, 63-54. After free throws from Romanowski made it 63-58, a Gomez three with 1:23 left seemed to give UW a cushion, 69-58. Free throws down the stretch secured the 75-46 win for the Cowgirls.
The Cowgirls built a 9-6 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Pioneers responded with a 7-0 run to close it out to take a 13-9 advantage. Wyoming shot just 3-of-12 from the field and 1-of-7 from three. Skyler Snodgrass hit back to back threes to end the Pioneers run and a five minute scoreless stretch for Wyoming. A basket by quickly put DU back up 16-15, which was answered with a 7-2 Cowgirl run to make it a four-point contest, 22-18. With UW up two, 22-20, and 2:49 left in the half, Dent hit a three to extend the lead to five and pushed her past 1,000 points for her career. Denver battled back and the two teams went into the locker room tied up at 27 all.
Dent and Kelley led the way for the Cowgirls with seven points while Dent recorded five assists. Wyoming shot 10-of-28 (.357) from the field and 4-of-16 (.250) from three. DU was led by Poss and Bradley with ten and eight points respectively. The Pioneers were 12-of-27 (.444) from the field and out rebounded UW 17-16.
Wyoming will close out the week on Saturday against the Montana Lady Griz. The game is set for a 2 p.m. MT tip-off in the Arena-Auditorium.