LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 11, 2016) — Behind a career-high 18 points from sophomore Clara Tapia, the Cowgirl basketball team (1-0 overall) earned a 24-point victory, 74-50, against the Chadron State Eagles (0-1 overall) on Friday night.
Tapia recorded 18 points along with seven assists in 25 minutes of play. She was 7-of-12 from the field and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Rachelle Tucker came off the bench and had 11 points. Liv Roberts and Hailey Ligocki each added ten points, while Marta Gomez recorded a game-high eight rebounds. Wyoming shot 27-of-63 (.429) for the game and 13-of-33 (.875) from beyond the arc. The Cowgirls also out rebounded the Eagles, 38-33, and had 19 assists on 27 baskets.
“One of the things we discussed after the game is that I end up coaching not by the score but by every play,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “We need to have the energy and excitement from the start. I thought in the first half we settled to shoot three’s. It looked like we didn’t’ have any energy or like a team that was coached over the last six weeks. I told them at halftime, me included, that we needed to step up and be better. We executed tremendously in the third quarter, which proved to be the difference in the ball game.”
Chadron State was led by Erin Graham who finished with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Kylah Collins followed with nine points and five boards off the bench while Maddie Metzger added seven points and five boards. The Eagles shot 20-of-52 (.385) from the field and 8-of-14 (.571) from the free throw line.
The Cowgirls began the third quarter with a 9-2 run to extend the advantage to 14, 43-29. After four straight points by the Eagles, UW responded with 17 unanswered to give them a 60-34 lead early in the fourth quarter. A basket by Metzger ended an eight minute scoring stretch for Chadron State. The lead for Wyoming was never in jeopardy as it went on to the 74-50 victory.
Wyoming started off hot from beyond the arc with three straight to build a 9-2 advantage. The Eagles scored six of the next eight to pull within four, 12-8, through the first media timeout. Gomez hit two free throws to end a 2:38 minute scoring drought for UW, but Chadron State continued to hang around. The Cowgirls closed out the quarter on a 5-3 run to take a 19-13 advantage. After the Eagles closed the gap to three, 19-16, Tapia scored nine straight for UW to push them ahead by six, 28-22. The teams played pretty even the rest of the half as Wyoming took a 34-27 lead in to the locker room.
Tapia led all scorers with 12 while shooting 4-of-7 for the half from three. Roberts added ten points and five rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 12-of-33 (.364) from the field and 8-of-21 (.381) from beyond the arc. CSC was led by Graham with 11 points and five rebounds, while Kendra Baucom chipped in four points. The Eagles shot 11-of-26 (.423) from the field and out rebounded UW, 19-18.
Wyoming returns to action on Sunday against the Michigan State Spartans. The game is set for a 12 p.m. in East Lansing.