LARAMIE– The Wyoming basketball team’s (20-9 overall, 13-5 MW) bid for a Mountain West regular season-championship fell short with a 67-63 loss against the Boise State Broncos (20-9 overall, 14-4 MW) on Friday night.
“Well I don’t know if you can ask for anything more,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “You had preseason number one in Boise State and number two in Wyoming, last day of the season and everything is on the line.
“I thought both teams played well and no one could put anyone away. Boise State got up five in the third, we made our run with Marta (Gomez) making threes and got up eight. They came back with three straight three-pointers really changed the momentum.
“I thought we had two good looks from the corner with Liv and Marta both came up empty. That’s how these games go. We made our run, they made their run, but they had an extra shot or two.”
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Gomez Leads Cowgirl Scorers
Junior Marta Gomez led the way with 19 points off the bench while shooting 5-of-7 (.714) from beyond the arc in the game. Seniors Natalie Baker and Liv Roberts each had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Junior Bailee Cotton had a game-high ten rebounds and eight points. Wyoming shot 22-of-58 (.379) from the field and 8-of-20 (.400) from beyond the arc.
Boise State was led by freshman Braydey Hodgins who had a game-high 24 points plus seven rebounds. Senior Shalen Shaw followed with 11 points and nine rebounds while junior Marta Hermida recorded ten points.
The Broncos shot 26-of-57 (.456) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 43-27.
Boise State Leads 33-30 at Half
Each team traded early baskets and then the Cowgirls scored six of the next 11 to take an 8-5 lead. Boise State hit a basket to close it to one, 8-7, which was answered with a 6-2 run to give UW a five-point lead, 14-9, out of the media timeout.
The Broncos responded with a 7-1 run to take their first lead of the game, 16-15, after one quarter. A three by Gomez put UW back up two, 18-16. Two baskets by Shaw and a jumper by Lupfer gave Boise State the 22-20 lead.
Wyoming would even it up at 24 all and then both teams struggled to score. Amundsen hit a shot to end a three minute drought for the Broncos while Roberts made a three-point play at 2:16 for the Cowgirls.
Boise State outscored UW 6-3 the remainder of the quarter to take a 33-30 lead in to the locker room.
Bakers Leads All Scorers in First Half
Baker led all scorers in the first half with 11. She was followed by sophomore Taylor Rusk with seven and Roberts with six. Wyoming shot 10-of-26 (.385) from the field and 3-of-8 (.375) from three.
Boise State was led by Shaw with nine points and four rebounds followed by Hodgins with eight points and four boards. The Broncos shot 15-of-33 (.455) from the field and out rebounded UW, 20-15.
UW Takes Lead in Fourth, but Can’t Hold On
Boise State extended the lead to five, 37-32, out of the break. Back to back threes by Gomez helped the Cowgirls regain a one-point lead, 38-37, which was answered with a three-point play by Hodgins to put the Broncos up, 40-38, with 5:13 on the clock.
Wyoming went on a 9-2 run to go ahead by five, 47-42. A basket by Shaw ended a three-minute scoreless stretch, but the Cowgirls scored 9 of the next 13 points to give them an eight-point lead, 56-48, early in the fourth quarter.
With the score 58-50 in favor of UW, Hodgins hit two straight three-point field goals to close the gap to two, 58-56. Roberts recorded a three-point play to make it 61-56. The Broncos scored nine straight to pull ahead 65-61 with 2:01 remaining.
Rusk hit a shot to cut it to a one possession game, 65-63. The Cowgirls clamped down defensively and shut down Boise State on the next two times down the court. UW had one last shot by Tapia that fell short and free throws sealed the 67-63 win for the Broncos.
Wyoming will open up the 2018 Mountain West Tournament on Tuesday night as the third seed in the tournament. The game is scheduled for 9:30 pm MT and the opponent will be determined on Monday.