LARAMIE– Behind a career day from junior Bailee Cotton, the Wyoming basketball team (5-3 overall) snapped a three game losing streak with a 61-53 victory over Idaho State Bengals (5-3 overall) on Sunday afternoon.
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Cotton Finished with her Second Career Double-Double
Cotton finished the game with her second double-double of her career with a season-high 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. She was 4-6 (.667) from the field and 9-12 (.750) from the free throw line along with three steals and two blocked shots in 36 minutes of action.
Junior Marta Gomez recorded a season-high 16 points while shooting 4-4 (1.00) from three, while junior Sladjana Rakovic chipped in seven points. The Cowgirls shot 16-40 (.400) from the field and 24-36 (.667) from the charity stripe.
Legerski: Cotton and Gomez Carried the Team
“It was a hard fought basketball game today,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “Bailee (Cotton) and Marta (Gomez) really carried the weight of the team in this game. Bailee was making 15-17 foot shots with the shot clock winding down and to come up with a double-double, and played well defensively.
“Then in the first half, Marta gave us a big lift, going 4-4 from three and that got us the lead and we needed every point. We knew we had to get to the free throw line, but you look at the stats and both teams did.
“It was a very physical and difficult game and I was proud of how we competed until the end. You always need players to step up and we had players that did that for us.”
Kenyon Led Idaho State with 22 Points
Idaho State was led by redshirt junior Grace Kenyon who had a game-high 22 points plus three steals and two blocked shots. Junior Saylair Grandon followed with eight points while sophomore Dora Goles and redshirt senior Brooke Blair each added seven points.
The Bengals were 17-50 (.340) from the field and 16-23 (.696) from the charity stripe.
Second Half Recap
Out of the break, the scoring came from the free throw line from both teams as the Cowgirls increased the lead to 16, 41-25, through the media timeout. The Bengals scored the next six of nine to close the gap, 44-31, but Wyoming would take a 46-31 advantage headed to the fourth.
Both teams traded scores in the early part of the quarter but Idaho State went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to single digits, 49-40, with 5:35 on the clock. Rusk scored a layup to end a four minute scoring drought by UW and would push it back to a 12-point lead, 53-41.
Despite being out scored in the final 3:23, Wyoming would hold on to come away with the 61-53 win.
First Half Recap
Wyoming jumped out early taking an 8-0 lead with baskets early by Tapia, Rusk and Roberts. Goles got the Bengals in the scoring column with a field goal at the 6:35 mark. After another ISU basket, the Cowgirls scored eight unanswered to push the lead to double-figures, 17-4.
A three by sophomore Estefania Ors ended a three-minute scoring drought for Idaho State. UW out scored 10 of the next 14 to take a 16-point advantage, 27-11, early in the second quarter.
Over the next stretch of minutes the teams combined for eight points, with all coming from the free throw line making it 31-15 in favor of the Cowgirls with 5:15 left in the period.
The offense dropped off a bit for both teams the remainder of the half as the Cowgirls took a 36-21 lead headed in to the locker room.
Gomez Led All Scorers in First Half
In the first half, Gomez led all Cowgirls scorers with 12 points while shooting 4-4 (1.00) from beyond the arc. Cotton added seven points, nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
Wyoming was 11-23 (.478) from the field and 5-10 (.500) from beyond the arc while out rebounding the Bengals 16-14. Idaho State was led by Kenyon with 12 points, while several players had three rebounds.
The Bengals shot 6-21 (.286) from the field and 8-9 (.889) from the free throw line.
Wyoming returns to action on Saturday, December 9, on the road against the Idaho Vandals. The game is set for 7 pm MT in Moscow.