Five Cowgirls Reach Double-Figures in Win over Spartans, 68-59
Wyoming-San Jose State Final Stats | Wyoming Season Stats
SAN JOSE, Calif. (March 3, 2017) — Five players finished the night in double-digits helping the Wyoming women's basketball team (21-8 overall, 13-5 MW) to a nine-point win, 68-59, over the San José State Spartans (10-20 overall, 7-11 MW) on Friday night. With the win, the Cowgirls have now won three straight games and wrapped up the second seed in next week's Mountain West Championships. The 13 conference wins is the most in program history with the previous mark being 12, which was achieved four times.
"It was a really good team effort. We got off to a good start, then went in to a little bit of a lull after Clara (Tapia) got into foul trouble and she was our leader out there on the court," head coach Joe Legerski said. "We kept battling and I thought we got back in to it in the third quarter. San José State throws one in from half court to take the momentum back and we knew we had to reach down again and fight back. What we ended up talking about was after three we were down one, at the half we were down four, so I told the team we were winning. We came out in the fourth quarter, stayed aggressive. It was difficult tonight. They press you 94-feet, trap you and you have to make good decisions with the ball."
Junior Natalie Baker finished with her third double-double of the season with 13 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. Senior Hailey Ligocki added a team-high 14 points and five assists followed by redshirt sophomore Bailee Cotton with her first double-double of her career recording 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Freshman Taylor Rusk came off the bench and added 11 points while sophomore Clara Tapia chipped in ten points and four assists.
The Cowgirls were 27-51 (.529) from the field for the game, including 15-24 (.625) in the third and fourth quarters and 10-15 (.667) from the free throw line. They out rebounded the Spartans, 42-30, had 32 points in the paint and 18 bench points.
"Hailey (Ligocki) played big down the stretch, made three big baskets for us. To see Bailee (Cotton) and Natalie (Baker) have double-doubles was great. We had a few things to work around with Clara in foul trouble, Marta tweaked an ankle, so we had to ask a little more of our bench. Everybody really stepped up in this win tonight."
San José State was led by senior Dezz Ramos with a game-high 22 points. She was followed by senior Jasmine Smith with 12 points, while fellow senior Pairs Baird had a team-high eight rebounds plus eight points. The Spartans were 25-70 (.357) from the field and 4-18 (.222) from beyond the arc.
Out of the break, San José State extended the lead to six, 40-34. Started by a three from Tapia, the Cowgirls scored 14 of the next 18 points to pull ahead by four, 48-44. Ramos made it a two-point contest with under a minute to go in the quarter and then hit a half-court shot at the end of the period to put the Spartans up by one, 49-48. UW quickly turned the momentum around and scored five straight including four points from Rusk. A bucket by Ladd stopped the run, but Wyoming continued to have an answer and scored eight of the next ten to push the lead to eight, 61-53. The Cowgirls stepped it up on both ends of the court not allowing the Spartans to get any closer than six, 65-59, with 1:21 to go. A basket by Ligocki and free throw from Tapia clinched the 68-59 win.
Wyoming scored the first bucket of the game, which was answered with five straight points by the Spartans to go ahead 5-2. The teams traded a couple of scores and the lead. With SJSU up 8-7, the Cowgirls went on an 8-0 run to take a seven-point lead, 15-8. Free throws by Ramos ended a three-minute scoreless stretch, but the Cowgirls increased the lead back to seven 19-12. San José State responded with an 11-0 run to regain a 21-19 advantage. A basket by Ligocki ended an eight-minute scoreless stretch and started a small run to pull them to within one, 25-24. Despite being outscored 20-11 in the second quarter, Wyoming headed in to the locker room down four, 34-30.
Baker finished the half with a team-leading seven points and seven rebounds. Tapia had five points followed by Ligocki with four. Wyoming shot 12-27 (.444) from the field but committed ten turnovers that resulted in nine points for the Spartans. San José State was led by Ramos with 13 points while Smith added eight points. Baird had a team-high five rebounds plus six points. SJSU shot 13-35 (.371) from the field and held a slight lead, 19-18, in the rebounding department.
Wyoming will return to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. MT to begin play at the 2017 Mountain West Championships in Las Vegas. The Cowgirls will face the winner of the Fresno State-Nevada game that will take place on Monday at 5:30 p.m. MT. Games will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center.