by staff–8 Feb ’18
Behind a career-high night from senior Natalie Baker, the Wyoming basketball team (15-7 overall, 8-3 MW) snapped its two-game losing streak with a 64-46 win over the Utah State Aggies (5-18 overall, 3-9 MW) on Wednesday night.
“This game was everything we know that Natalie (Baker) can do for us. We needed every one of her points tonight when you look up at the scoreboard and see we won by 18 points,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “She got us off to a great start and then to begin the third quarter we made a big push with her knocking down some shots. To see her go 4-6 from three and the shot she hit when they went to a zone, stepped up in the gap and it made everyone more comfortable. This was a definitely a game of runs. At halftime, we were up by three and I looked at the numbers and we played pretty well. Defensively to have 10 steals that was great rotation in everything we were doing.”
Baker finished with a career-high 21 points plus eight rebounds. She was 8-of-14 (.571) from the field and 4-of-6 (.667) from beyond the arc. Senior Liv Roberts followed with 12 points, while junior Marta Gomez and senior Marleah Campbell had 11 and 10, respectively. Junior Clara Tapia dished out a season-high nine assists. The Cowgirls were 24-of-48 (.500) from the field, including 14-of-22 (.636) in the last two quarters, and a season-high 10-of-15 (.667) from three. UW out rebounded Utah State 30-23.
The Aggies were led by sophomore Olivia West with team-high 11 points off the bench. Utah State was 17-of-46 (.370_ from the field and 9-of-10 (.900) from the free throw line.
It was low scoring through the first five minutes of the game as the Cowgirls took the early 5-2 advantage. After the media timeout, Utah State went on a 6-2 run to take its first lead of the game 8-7. UW responded with eight unanswered to pull ahead by seven, 15-8. Back to back field goals from Bassett and Olivia West close the gap to three, 15-12. Free throws by Wyoming increased the lead to six, 18-12, early in the second quarter. The Aggies battled back scoring 10 of the next 12 points to regain a two-point advantage, 22-20, with 4:41 left on the clock. Started by a Roberts three, UW closed out the half on a 7-2 run to take a three-point lead, 27-24, in to the locker room.
Baker scored the first eight points of the third quarter to extend the Wyoming lead to double-digits, 35-24. Dufficy hit a basket to get the Aggies back in scoring column, but another eight unanswered by the Cowgirls pushed it up to a 21-point advantage, 47-26. West ended a six-minute scoring drought by the Aggies and started a 7-0 run to make it 47-33 headed in to the fourth period. UW regained the momentum quickly scoring 14 of the next 17 points which including three straight from beyond the arc by Gomez to stretch the lead, 61-36. Despite being outscored the remainder of the way, the Cowgirls came away with the 18-point victory, 64-46.
The Cowgirls return to the Double A on Saturday two begin a two-game homestand. UW will host the UNLV Lady Rebels beginning at 2 p.m. followed by a Wednesday match-up against the San Diego State Aztecs.