LARAMIE, Wyo. (Dec. 9, 2016) — The Wyoming basketball team (6-3 overall) suffered its first home loss of the season against the Idaho Vandals (3-5 overall) by the final of 74-71 on Friday night.
Four Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by junior Liv Roberts. She finished with a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds. Senior Hailey Ligocki followed with a career-high 17 points plus five boards and four assists. Off the bench, junior Marleah Campbell added 12 points followed by sophomore Marta Gomez with 11 points and seven rebounds. Wyoming shot 25-of-57 (.439) from the field and 10-of-24 (.417) from three.
“From a basketball stand point and being a fan, you had to enjoy tonight’s action,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “I thought it was fast paced, teams making plays on both ends and it didn’t seem like either one had very many defensive stops. We came up a play short. I like the effort down to the end. We converted when we had to, down five with a minute forty to go, got our baskets and we sent them to the foul line. They hit at the foul line, we got a five second call on them and had a couple of chances at the end. That’s all I can ask. We left some points on the floor, had opportunities to make a couple more plays, which happens in any game, but in close games you look back on.”
Idaho was led by sophomore Mikayla Ferenz with a game-high 34 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Taylor Pierce finished with 14 points off the bench while junior Geraldine McCorkell added 12 points. Redshirt junior Brooke Reilly had a game-high nine rebounds. The Vandals shot 28-of-59 (.475) from the field and 11-of-12 (.917) from the free throw line.
The Cowgirls led for eight minutes of the third quarter until five points from Ferenz gave Idaho the 45-41 advantage. UW battled back and tied up the score at 47 all headed in to the final ten minutes of play. The Vandals went on a 9-4 run to open up the fourth quarter, taking a 56-51 lead. Free throws by Ligocki ended small drought for UW, but a three by Pierce extended the lead back to six, 59-53, with 5:16 left in the game. The Cowgirls continued to hang around but just couldn’t seem to get over the top. Down 68-62, Gomez hit a three to close the gap and Wyoming was forced to foul which Idaho converted at the line. After a Ligocki layup made it a three point contest, the Cowgirls caused a five count on the end line. Both Roberts and Gomez has two looks as Wyoming would fall short 74-71.
Roberts hit a three to start the game for the Cowgirls which was answered with six straight to give the Vandals a 6-3 advantage. Wyoming scored the next seven of 11 to even it up at ten all. After a three-point play by McCorkle, the Cowgirls went on a 16-5 run to take a eight point advantage, 26-18. The Vandals responded with nine unanswered to put them up one, 27-26. The teams traded scores in the final minutes of the second quarter as UW took a 34-33 advantage into the locker room.
Roberts finished with a team-high 11 points along with five rebounds. Campbell came off the bench and had eight points. As a team, UW shot 13-of-32 (.406) from the field and 7-of-13 (.538) from three. Ferenz led all scorers with 16 followed by Pierce with five. The Vandals shot 14-of-31 (.452) from the field.
Wyoming will close out the non-conference season with the next two games on the road. The Cowgirls will face the Montana Lady Griz on Sunday, Dec. 18 in Missoula followed by a contest with a ranked Colorado Buffalo team on Wednesday, Dec. 21.