(Editor’s note: University of Wyoming media release)
BOISE – Behind a season-high effort from senior Liv Roberts, the Wyoming basketball team (9-5 overall, 2-1 MW) held the Boise State Broncos (8-7 overall, 2-2) almost 20 points under its scoring average with a 66-51 victory on Saturday afternoon. It’s the first time since Jan. 10, 2015 that the Cowgirls earned a win in Boise.
“We talked about that if Liv (Roberts) can get off to the start like she did today, it really relaxes everyone,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “Now as a group we need to continue to grow, because you can’t expect her to do that night in and night out especially going 9-of-9 from the field. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. What an effort from a player to come up 25 points, six rebounds and 35 minutes of defense. Boise State puts tremendous pressure on you, pressing and doing different things. They made their run at the end and got it down with around 2 and a half minutes to go. The way Boise State shoots the ball, you have to come up with some big plays and Taylor (Rusk) hit two big threes that really gave us the cushion.”
Roberts followed up her 20-plus point effort from Wednesday with a season-high 25 points along with six rebounds in 35 minutes of action. She was 9-of-9 (1.00) from the field, 2-of-2 (1.00 from beyond the arc and 5-of-7 (.) from the charity stripe. Sophomore Taylor Rusk followed with a 12 point, five rebound and five assist effort, while junior Marta Gomez chipped in 11. The Cowgirls shot 23-of-48 (.479) from the field and a season-high 10-of-16 (.625) from beyond the arc. They out rebounded Boise State 32-26, had 10 assists on 17 made baskets and 26 points in the paint.
“We keep talking about having to rest Taylor. She’s been playing around 38 minutes. Tonight she played 36 so I guess we accomplished that. When you are 4-of-5 from three, have five defensive rebounds, five assists and the most difficult match-up. She continues to impress, play well and it was exactly what we needed. We had so many good efforts tonight.”
Junior Marta Hermida and sophomore Riley Lupfer led the way for the Broncos with 11 points and two assists each. Redshirt sophomore Ellie Woerner followed with seven points while senior Shalen Shaw recorded a team-high seven rebounds and six points. Boise State shot 17-of-55 (.309) from the field and 11-of-12 (.917) from the free throw line.
The teams traded early baskets to begin the game until four straight points by Hermida gave the Broncos and 8-5 advantage. A three by Roberts followed by a Baker layup gave the Cowgirls a 10-8 advantage through the media timeout. Wyoming would stretch that lead to eight, 16-8, with a Gomez three to cap an 11-0 run. Coleman hit a jumper for Boise State to end a five minute scoring drought to close out the quarter. UW shot 6-of-12 (.500) from the field and 3-of-3 (1.00) from beyond the arc. The Cowgirls kept that momentum going and opened up the second period with ten straight points to extend the lead to 16, 26-10. Amundsen hit a three to stop the Boise State scoreless stretch and would start and 8-2 run to close the gap to ten, 28-18. Wyoming scored the final four points of the half to take a 32-18 advantage in to the locker room.
Roberts led all scorers in the first half with 14 points plus three rebounds. Gomez followed with 11 points with nine of those coming from beyond the arc, along with four rebounds. UW shot 10-of-22 (.455) from the field and 5-of-6 (.833) from beyond the arc. They out rebounded the Broncos, 16-15, and had 15 points off the bench. Boise State was led by Hermida with nine points, while two others had three. Junior Joyce Harrell and Shaw each brought down three rebounds. BSU was 8-of-30 (.267) from the field and 2-of-6 (.333) from beyond the arc.
Boise State scored the first five of six points to begin the third to pull within ten, 33-23. Six unanswered by the Cowgirls pushed it back to a 16-point advantage, 39-23, forcing a Bronco timeout. A basket by Woerner ended a three-minute scoring drought, but Rusk hit back to back three point field goals to push the lead to 18, 45-27. Boise State scored six of the final eight to finish out the third making it 47-33 in favor of the Cowgirls headed in to the final quarter. After a three by junior Sladjana Rakovic, the Broncos scored five straight to make it 50-35, which was answered with five points from junior Clara Tapia extending it back to a 17-point lead, 55-38, with 6:05 left on the clock. Boise State wouldn’t go away and scored 11 of the next 14 over the next three minutes to pull to within single digits, 58-49. A basket by Roberts slowed it down, but Amundsen hit a pair of free throws to get it under ten, 60-51, with under three to go. Rusk stepped up again with two from beyond the arc as the Cowgirls held Boise State scoreless the remainder of the way and on to the 66-51 victory.
Wyoming home on Wednesday to host the league-leading New Mexico Lobos. The game is set for 6:30 p.m. MT at the Arena-Auditorium.