Cowgirls Lose Close One in Reno

courtesy of UW Athletics Department

by staff–20 Jan ’16

Despite four starters recording double-digits in points, a tough shooting night from the charity stripe was a factor in the 68-65 loss by the Wyoming basketball team (10-7 overall, 3-4 MW) on Wednesday night against the Nevada Wolf Pack (3-14 overall, 2-4 MW).

“I went into the locker room at the end of the game, wrote missed opportunities on the wipe board and that’s what happened tonight,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said. “When you go 13-24 from the free throw line, chances to get easy points and we were in the bonus early in the fourth quarter. We were aggressive to the basket in order to get to the line which is what you want. The last four minutes it could have been fatigue or shooting at the basket where it was loud. Nevada has been in a lot of basketball games. We were in the game and had a chance, whether it was missed free throws, layups or from three. I thought our zone worked well including a box and one which got us back in it. In the end, we didn’t make enough plays.”

The Cowgirls were led by senior Marquelle Dent who recorded a team-high 15 points and six assists. Freshman Marta Gomez added 14 points followed by junior Hailey Ligocki with a career-high 13. Sophomore Liv Roberts chipped in 11 and nine rebounds while sophomore Natalie Baker had a game-high 12 boards. Wyoming shot 24-of-56 (.429) from the field and 13-of-24 (.542) from the free throw line.

Nevada was led by senior Nyasha LeSure who notched a game-high 29 points along with eight rebounds. Sophomore Teige Zeller followed with eight points and sophomore Halie Bergman with seven. The Wolf Pack shot 29-of-69 (.420) from the field and held a slight 41-39 rebounding edge.

Out of the break, a basket and free throw by LeSure extended the lead to nine, 38-29. The Cowgirls scored eight unanswered to pull within one, 38-37. Zeller ended a three-minute scoring drought for Nevada but a three by Gomez evened up the score at 44 all with 4:32 on the clock. The Wolf Pack closed out the quarter on an 11-6 spurt to take a 55-50 advantage headed into the final quarter. The two teams went a couple of minutes before a Ligocki basket ended the scoreless stretch. Despite struggles from the line, the Cowgirls rallied back and took a one-point lead, 61-60, with 1:19 left in the game. Kaelin gave the Wolf Pack a 62-61 advantage on the next possession. Dent missed two free throws and unfortunately time ran out on Wyoming. Nevada would go on to the 68-65 victory.

Gomez scored the first eight points of the game for Wyoming to give them an 8-5 lead in the early part of the first quarter. The Wolf Pack tied it up on the next possession and then the teams played even the remainder of the quarter to be tied up at 17 all. Nevada ran off six straight points to build a 23-17 lead. The Cowgirls tried to close the gap and pulled to within three, 25-22 with 5:46 left in the second frame. The Wolf Pack outscored UW 10-7 to take a 35-29 lead into the locker room.

Dent led the way for the Cowgirls with nine points followed by Gomez with eight. Baker recorded five rebounds. Wyoming shot 12-of-29 (.414) for the half and out rebounded the Wolf Pack 21-18. LeSure led the way for Nevada with 15 points and six rebounds.

The Cowgirls are on the road to close out the week against the Boise State Broncos. The game is slated for Saturday with a 2 p.m. MT tip time.