Cowgirls Roll to Their Fifth Straight Win

photo by Wyoming Athletics Department

by staff–4 Jan ’17
Junior Liv Roberts recorded her third double-double of the season helping the Wyoming women’s basketball team (11-3 overall, 3-0 MW) to its fifth win in a row with a 70-48 victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs (8-6 overall, 1-2 MW) on Wednesday night. It’s the longest winning streak since the 2012-13 season and the 3-0 conference start is the best since the 2007-08 team.

Roberts recorded her third double-double of the season with 24 points and tied a career-high with 12 rebounds. She was 9-15 from the field while adding four assists and two steals. Redshirt sophomore Bailee Cotton and freshman Taylor Rusk each contributed eight points followed by junior Natalie Baker and sophomore Marta Gomez with seven. Sophomore Clara Tapia dished out seven assists and had two steals. Wyoming shot 27-of-59 (.458) from the field, out rebounded the Bulldogs 38-30 and recorded 20 assists on 27 baskets.

“Once again, we got off to a good start playing with a great deal of confidence offensively and defensively,” head coach Joe Legerski. “We had a lull to end the half and turned the ball over a couple of times, plus coming out of the break and Fresno State makes a run which all good teams do. They cut it to 11 with about eight and a half to go and Clara (Tapia) makes two big steals in post play. It was important that we come down Liv (Roberts) hits a big three and got everybody relaxed then Taylor (Rusk) hit back to back threes which helped steady what we were doing. Liv has the big game again with the double-double and when she’s on the floor gives us so much energy. I think what’s becoming the mark of this team is we had six players that scored between six and eight points so we are getting a balanced contribution and not just one or two players. I thought Marleah (Campbell) gave us important minutes, Taylor as I mentioned and Bailee (Cotton) played as well as she has both offensively and defensively. There is a lot of to go around from the coaching staff, to the players because everyone did contribute to this victory.”

The Bulldogs was led by redshirt sophomore Tory Jacobs with 19 points in her 35 minutes of action. Junior Bego Faz Davalos recorded eight points while sophomore Candice White and senior Emilie Volk lead the way with five boards. Fresno State shot 21-of-54 (.389) from the field and committed 12 turnovers.

Fresno State hit a bucket out of the break which was part of a 7-0 run leading back to the second quarter. The Cowgirls responded by scoring six of the next eight to extend it back to 18, 39-21. Over the next several minutes, UW continued to maintain that double-digit advantage. With 3:51 left in the quarter and the score 44-28, the Bulldogs went on a 10-4 run to make it a ten point contest, 48-38, but a three by Gomez gave them a 51-38 lead headed in to the final quarter. White scored the first basket of the fourth, which was answered by four straight three pointers by the Cowgirls to extend it to 19, 63-44. The teams combined for 11 points the remainder of the way with Wyoming earning the 22-point win, 70-48.

It took both teams a while to get in to the scoring column with a jumper by Fresno State and free throws from UW. With the score at 10-0 in favor of the Cowgirls, they went on rattled off 14 straight to give them a double-figure lead 24-8. Two baskets by Cavey ended a five minute scoring drought for the Bulldogs, but another 9-0 run from Wyoming pushed the lead to 21, 33-12. Fresno State scored the final five points as the Cowgirls took a 33-17 lead in to the locker room.

Roberts led all scorers with 12 points plus eight rebounds. Campbell recorded six points off the bench with two others with four. Wyoming shot 13-of-31 (.419) from the field and out rebounded the Bulldogs, 25-17. Fresno State was led by Kristina Cavey and Jacobs with four points. White brought down four boards. The Bulldogs shot 8-of-29 (.276) from the field and 1-of-11 (.091) from beyond the arc.

Wyoming will have a bye this weekend before returning to the court. The Cowgirls will be back in action on Wednesday, January 11 against the Utah State Aggies. The game is set for a 7 p.m. tip-off in Logan, Utah.