BOULDER, Colo. -
The Wyoming women's basketball team (5-5 overall) lost an eight-point second half lead and closed out the non-conference season with a five-point loss, 76-71, against the Colorado Buffaloes (7-3 overall) on Sunday afternoon.
Junior Marquelle Dent led all scorers with a game-high 24 points and seven assists. She was 7-of-17 from the field and 10-of-13 from the charity stripe. Senior Kayla Woodward followed with a season-high 22 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Jordan Sibrel also added eight rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 25-of-69 (.362) from the field and just 15-of-23 (.652) from the free throw line.
"I told the team that the coaching profession is a little different than most," head coach Joe Legerski said. "There are times you win and you aren't pleased with the performance. There are times you lose and aren't pleased with the outcome, but with the effort we gave today. To lose Bailee Cotton in the first half really changed our rotation, we had foul trouble with Kaitlyn and Jordan (Sibrel) had to step into the four. She did a tremendous job along with the play of Jordan (Kelley). Once again, Marquelle controlled the floor, made great decisions and they had to make adjustments for her. Kayla (Woodward) had a solid line with 22 points, eight rebounds and showed the player she is capable of being."
Colorado had four players in double-digits led by junior Jamee Swan with 16 points off the bench. Senior Jen Reese added 15 points followed by senior Jasmine Sborov with 11 and sophomore Haley Smith with ten. Sophomore Zoe Beard-Fails finished the night with a team-high seven rebounds. The Buffs were 25-of-50 (.500) from the field and 24-of-34 (.706) from the free throw line.
Woodward hit a three out of the break to start a 13-6 run to extend the lead to eight, 55-47, through the first media timeout. Free throws by Beard-Fails would end a four-minute scoring drought for Colorado. With the score 58-50 in favor of the Cowgirls, the Buffs scored the next ten of 11 points to regain the lead 60-59. Wyoming went seven minutes without a field goal until Jordan Kelley hit a basket with the shot clock winding down to give the Cowgirls a 61-60 lead. Smith hit a basket to give the Buffs the lead by one and they would score four of the next five to go up by four, 66-62, with 3:06 left in the game. A three-point field goal by Woodward closed the gap to one, 66-65 unfortunately a basket and free throw by Swan made it a four-point game 69-67. Dent hit a shot to make it 69-67. Free throws by Sborov and Smith made it a five-point game, 72-67, with 45.6 on the clock. The Cowgirls wouldn't go away as they had a chance down 73-71 with 30 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, a couple of opportunities came up short for Wyoming as free throws sealed the win 76-71 for the Buffs.
Wyoming got on the board first with two straight baskets by Dent and Woodward. Reese got the Buffs on the board with four points to even it up at four all. The teams traded the next couple of scores as it was all even at eight through the first media timeout. Colorado went on a 4-0 run out of the break, but the Cowgirls responded with seven unanswered started by a basket from Cotton to give them a 15-12 advantage, who unfortunately was hurt on the play . The Buffs responded with five straight to retake a 17-15 lead. A basket by Mileto tied it up and she scored the next nine points for Wyoming to give them a one point advantage, 24-23. Free throws by Dent extended the lead to three, 26-23, with 7:42 left in the first half. After the Buffs scored the next five of seven to even it up at 28 all, Wyoming went on a 7-4 run to make it 35-32. Colorado ran off five straight to give it a two-point lead, 37-35. The Cowgirls closed out the half scoring seven of 11 to take a 42-41 lead into the locker room.
Two Cowgirls finished the half in double-figures led by Dent. She recorded a team-high 15 points plus five assists and two rebounds. Woodward followed with 13 points and a team-high five rebounds. Wyoming shot 13-of-36 (.361) from the field and 12-of-13 (.923) from the free throw line. Colorado was led by Reese with 13 points while Beard-Fails recorded six rebounds. The Buffs were 15-of-26 (.577) from the field and outrebounded the Cowgirls 19-17.
Wyoming will return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 31 to begin the Mountain West season. The Cowgirls will take on the UNLV Lady Rebels at 3 p.m. MT in Las Vegas.