The University of Wyoming women’s basketball team won their first home game of the season, 72-62, over Montana State Friday night on double-doubles by Wyoming natives Kayla Woodward and Fallon Lewis.
In a season where the Cowgirls are playing at a faster pace, they started quite slow against the Bobcats. Montana State was also a team looking to play fast and they got off to a 9-2 start.
“We had to get back on transition,” said sophomore point guard Marquelle Dent. “But we adjusted the second half very well and got back on defense with the team.”
Wyoming struggled to make shots most of the night, but found reprieve at the foul line where they made 14-of-20 free throws in the first half to help them take a 41-31 lead into the locker room.
“The game has changed and you have to be able to get to the free throw line and you have to make free throws when you’re there,” said UW Head Coach Joe Legerski. “When I take a look at it Marquelle was able to get to the line, Fallon was able to do that, but it’s a great deal of hard work to get to the line and that’s why we need so many players. This is as long of a bench as I’ve ever used and we’ll need to continue to do that.”
The Bobcats crept within 7 and 6 points late in the game, but a timely 3-point shot and a second chance layup from Woodward help Wyoming keep their cushion in the final five minutes. Legerski said keeping Montana State running at 7220 feet also helped the Cowgirls maintain their lead.
“That’s the big thing with having the luxury of having two starting point guards with Marquelle and Chelan (Landry),” said Legerski. “It really makes it nice to keep them fresh and be able to push the pace… We knew Montana State wouldn’t go away… So we were just knowing we had to keep the pressure on them in transition to be able to convert.”
Dent led all scorers with a career-high 19 points while Woodward and Lewis had double-doubles with career highs in rebounding. Woodward put up 17 points and 15 rebounds while Lewis had 15 points and 11 boards.
Wyoming (3-0) shot 31.8 percent (21-of-66) and made 65.8 percent (25-of-38) of their free throws. Montana State (1-1) shot 30.5 percent (25-of-82) from the field and 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from the free throw line.
UW has eight days before their next game on Saturday, Nov. 23 against Pepperdine in Laramie.
Joe Legerski Postgame Interview