Courtesy Wyoming Media Relations
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 11, 2014) — The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team held off a late comeback from Boise State in the second half to pull out a five-point win, 61-56, to open up the 2014 Reese’s MW Championships on Tuesday afternoon. The Cowgirls now move onto the semifinals on Friday, March 14, against the Colorado State Rams. The game is set for 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time.
“I think the game is what the Mountain West is about,” said head coach Joe Legerski. “Two teams giving everything that they have out there. You knew it was going to come down to maybe the last possession. Sure enough, we’re up 10 with three minutes to go. We have to make a stop defensively. You have to give Boise State credit. They came at us in the last three minutes to create either a lay in or a three point shot. That was something we were trying to take away. I thought that was a big part of our game plan.
“In the first half we had to go small when Kaitlyn Mileto was in foul trouble. I thought Chelan Landry came in and gave us a big lift. We talked about being more aggressive. Marquelle Dent sure was that today. We had things designed to give Marquelle every opportunity to make things happened and she delivered.”
Holding a one-point lead out of the break, 25-24, the Cowgirls went on a 12-4 run to extend their lead to nine, 37-28, with all the points coming from Lewis and Mileto. Brooke Pahukoa hit a basket to end a four-minute scoring drought by the Broncos, but Wyoming built their advantage to ten, 42-32, with 9:29 to go in the game. Over the next stretch of four-minutes, the Cowgirls continued to maintain a double-digit lead, 51-41. Kayla Reinhart scored five straight to make it a five-point contest, 51-46. Wyoming responded with baskets from Dent and Mileto to make it 56-46. The Broncos battled back going on a 10-2 run to close the gap to two, 58-56, with 1:09 left in the game. After a missed shot by Dent, Boise State had a chance to come down and tie. Weaver missed a jumper which was rebounded by the Cowgirls. Dent hit two free throws making it a two possession game, 60-56, with 27 seconds on the clock. Solid defense down the stretch and another free throw clinched the five-point win, 61-56.
Dent finished with a team high 23 points while adding six assists and four rebounds. She was followed by Kayla Woodward with ten points and nine rebounds while Fallon Lewis finished her night with nine points and ten boards. Wyoming shot 20-64 (.313) for the game including 12-30 (.400) in the second half, and 16-20 (.800) from the free throw line. The Cowgirls also out rebounded Boise State 45-35 and had 15 points off turnovers.
Weaver led all scorers for Boise State with 17 points plus 15 rebounds. Miquelle Askew chipped in 12 points while Kayla Reinhart added ten. The Broncos were 24-58 (.414) from the field and 3-15 (.200) from beyond the arc.
The Cowgirls got up early on the Broncos, 8-2, with five of those points coming from Dent. A basket by Weaver started a 12-0 run for Boise State to give them a six point lead, 14-8. Wyoming went over seven minutes without a field goal until a shot by Woodward ended the drought. Wyoming scored the next seven of nine to pull within one, 16-15, with 7:49 left in the first half. Engel scored the next basket for Boise State to make it 18-16, but the Cowgirls hit six straight free throws to take the lead 21-18. Askew hit two straight baskets to retake a 22-21 advantage. Wyoming scored the final four of six points to take a 25-24 lead into the locker room.