LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming women's basketball team (5-4 overall) was held to its second lowest point total of the season with a 70-56 loss against the Gonzaga Bulldogs (6-3 overall) on Friday night in Laramie.
Three Cowgirls finished the night in double-digits led by junior guard Marquelle Dent. She recorded a game-high 19 points, six assists and six steals and five rebounds. Senior forward Kayla Woodward followed with 14 points and senior guard Kaitlyn Mileto added 12 points. Wyoming shot 19-of-49 (.388) from the field and just 4-of-18 (.222) from beyond the arc.
"I think you can see why Gonzaga has been successful for the past decade or more with championships and NCAA tournaments," head coach Joe Legerski said. "We knew going in they had great size and would end up attacking us on the inside. I just asked my young post players to compete and they did that as well as they could. Jordan (Kelley) someone who is 5-9 guarding a 6-3 player played hard down inside and that was important to us. Marquelle (Dent) was special tonight. She plays at such a high level and we needed someone to make plays. I felt ok at halftime down eight considering we didn't shoot the ball well. Unfortunately in the second half, Gonzaga did what good teams do and went at us. We missed some easy baskets, but I give credit to this team that they didn't give in."
Gonzaga was led by senior forward Sunny Greinacher with team-high 18 points. Freshman center Emma Wolfram added 13 points followed by junior guard Elle Tinkle with 11 points and a team-high six rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 27-of-49 (.551) from the field and 7-of-14 (.500) from beyond the arc, while outrebounding the Cowgirls 37-20.
It was a struggle out of the halftime break for Wyoming as it made two free throws through the first six minutes of the half, while the Bulldogs extended the lead to double-figures, 44-24. A field goal by Woodward would end a five-minute scoring drought for the Cowgirls. Over the next stretch, Gonzaga continued to maintain a significant lead as the Cowgirls offensive struggles continued. With the score 58-34 in favor of the Bulldogs, Wyoming went on a 10-4 run to close the gap to 18, 62-44. Unfortunately, the Cowgirls couldn't mount a comeback as they would fall by the final of 70-56.
Mileto hit a three-point field goal to get the Cowgirls in the scoring column first. The Bulldogs answered with four straight to take their first lead 4-3. The two teams traded the next couple of baskets until a 7-0 run from Gonzaga made it 13-7 with 12:33 left in the half. Another basket by Mileto ended the run and a four-minute scoring drought for Wyoming. That sparked a 6-0 run for the Cowgirls to tie up the score at 13 all. Field goals by Cheslek and Greinacher gave the Bulldogs a four-point lead, 17-13 through the under eight media timeout. Gonzaga extended that lead to nine, 24-15, as Wyoming went another four minutes without scoring. The scoring was even the remainder of the half as the Bulldogs took a 30-22 lead into the lockerroom.
Mileto finished with eight points and two rebounds for the half. Dent recorded seven points and four boards while freshman forward Marleah Campbell added three points. The Cowgirls shot 8-of-25 (.320) from the field and 3-of-13 (.231) from beyond the arc. Gonzaga was led by Wolfram with nine points, while Greinacher had eight points. Tinkle finished with six rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 14-of-26 (.538) from the field and outrebounded Wyoming 18-12.
Wyoming will be off for finals week and return to action on Sunday, Dec. 21 against the Colorado Buffaloes. The game is set for 2 p.m. in Boulder.