Down by 11 points at half, the Wyoming basketball team’s (3-3 overall) comeback fell short, 61-57, against the Idaho Vandals (7-1 overall) on Saturday afternoon in Moscow.
Senior Marquelle Dent finished her night with 22 points and seven rebounds. Senior Jordan Kelley recorded her second straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Bailee Cotton added seven points and eight rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 20-of-65 (.308) from the field and 13-of-18 (.722) from the free throw line.
“I think the biggest thing is that we started to attack the zone,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said. “The second half we went back to our motion game, got the ball to the free throw and made good decisions. The game swung when we got to within two and gave up four offensive rebounds. We had some momentum, got our transition going and missed a three which was a difference. It seemed like we were battling up hill. Once again, I challenged some of them. Whether you are in there to rebound, defend, we can’t have just two or three people contributing. Bailee (Cotton) stepped up and played well for us.”
Two players finished the night with double-doubles for Idaho. Ali Forde finished with 19 points and 13 boards while Geraldine McCorkell added 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Vandals were 21-of-68 (.309) from the field and out rebounded UW 50-47.
Wyoming pulled to within six, 37-31, capped off by a Skyler Snodgrass three point field goal. Idaho built its advantage back to ten, 43-33. The Cowgirls closed it to within five, 44-39. The Vandals held a 48-41 advantage headed into the fourth quarter. UW wouldn’t go away chipping away to make it a 52-49 score with 6:41 left in the game. Free throws would have made it a one point game but Idaho increased the lead back to five, 54-49. A three-point play by Cotton got the score to 54-52. The Cowgirls went a bit cold as two baskets from IU made the lead 58-52. With under a minute to go, two Dent free throws got the score to 59-57. There wasn’t enough time to go in the game as free throws sealed the Idaho win, 61-57.
Dent got the Cowgirls on the board first with a jumper. The Vandals responded with seven of the next nine points to take a 7-4 advantage. After a basket by Dent closed the gap, four straight points by Idaho made it 11-6. UW responded with a 10-4 run to take a one point lead at the end of the first quarter, 16-15. The Vandals regained the lead and went up 23-18 in the first four minutes of the second period. Kelley hit a shot to close the gap to three, 23-20, unfortunately Idaho went on a 9-0 run over a 2:37 minute stretch to go ahead by double-figures, 32-20. Dent ended the Cowgirls scoring drought but the Vandals took a 35-24 lead into the half.
Dent led all Cowgirl scorers with 11 followed by Kelley with six points and seven rebounds. UW shot 9-of-31 (.290) from the field but gave up seven points off turnovers.
Wyoming will close out its three-game road swing on Wednesday against the Denver Pioneers. The game is set for a 12 p.m. MT tip-off in Denver.