The Wyoming basketball team (12-13 overall, 5-10 MW) battled until the final minutes but came up short in its 62-57 loss against the Colorado State Rams (24-1 overall, 14-0 MW) on Saturday afternoon in Laramie.
“It was a highly entertaining game today from a fan, coach and player perspective. Really proud of the effort that the team stepped up with tonight,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said. “We played very few players, tried to rest them throughout the game and everyone that stepped on the floor made a contribution to what we were doing. We executed from a game plan standpoint and in the end CSU’s maturity was the difference in the game. They made some plays down the stretch when we broke down and at times we didn’t break down and they made plays. I was really happy that we were in the game. Colorado State beat its last four opponents by 30 and I thought at the end of the third quarter we were in it. They came out as a veteran group and scored eight straight. Wyoming came back and made it a game down to the final ten seconds.”
Four Cowgirls finished the night in double-digits led by sophomore Liv Roberts. She recorded 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the night. Senior Marquelle Dent and junior Hailey Ligocki each chipped in 13 points while sophomore Natalie Baker added 12 points and seven rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 19-of-56 (.339) from the field, 14-of-17 (.824) from the free throw line and out rebounded CSU, 37-32.
Colorado State was led by junior Elin Gustavsson who recorded a game-high 21 points on the afternoon. Senior Keyora Wharry added 15 while Ellen Nystrom chipped in 12 points. The Rams shot 24-of-53 (.453) from the field and recorded 26 points in the paint.
Out of the break, the Rams extended the lead to the lead to eight, 28-20. The Cowgirls hung around but couldn’t pull any closer than three. With the score 34-27 in favor of CSU, Wyoming closed out the quarter on a 13-3 run to take a 40-37 lead into the final ten minutes. Colorado State responded with eight unanswered to regain a five-point advantage, 45-40. UW continued to battle and pulled to within two, 50-48, and had a chance to tie it up. Field goals by Wharry and Gustavsson put the Rams up six, 56-50. A three-point field goal by Ligocki closed the gap to three with 1:43 left unfortunately there weren’t enough possessions for the Cowgirls as they would fall, 62-57.
The Cowgirls started out a little sluggish falling behind 9-2 in the early going. They would respond over the next five minutes with an 11-2 run to take a 13-11 advantage into the second quarter. Colorado State scored the next five straight to go back up by three, 16-15. After a basket by Baker, the Rams scored the final 9 of 14 to take a 25-20 lead into the locker room.
Wyoming will be back on the road Wednesday against the San Diego State Aztecs. The game is set to tip at 7:30 p.m. MT in San Diego.