(Editor’s note: University of Wyoming athletics release)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For the second time in Mountain West history and the third time in school history, a Wyoming women’s basketball player has been named Player of the Year. Senior Liv Roberts was named MW Player of the Year as the league as the announced its postseason awards. Junior Marta Gomez was selected the Sixth Player of the Year for the second time and Bailee Cotton earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team. Head Coach Joe Legerski was selected the 2018 Coach of the Year by his peers.
It’s the first time since 2011 when Aubrey Vandiver was named the MW Player of the Year. Former Cowgirl Amy Burnett was a WAC Player of the Year honoree in 1994 and 1995. Legerski earns Coach of the Year honors for the second straight year and the third time in his career.
Roberts, a senior from Missoula, Mont., played in 28 contests along with 17 conference games. She led the team in eight statistical categories overall and in Mountain West games including points. In league games, she ranked among the Top 15 in eight statistical categories. Roberts scored in double-digits in 21 contests she played, reached double-figures in rebounding two times which included two double-doubles. She led the team in scoring 15 times, 11 times in blocked shots, eight times in rebounding and seven times in assists. This season, she also reached 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for her career.
“Liv has competed at a high level over the last two years,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “I could not be happier for her being selected the MW Player of the Year. The last two years have demonstrated what Liv can accomplish. She has had tremendous success on the court and an amazing will to rehab from an ACL injury. Liv provides the confidence for this team and is a difficult match-up inside and out for our opponents.”
A junior from Valles, Spain, Gomez played in all 18 games during conference action. She averaged 8.8 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per play. She led was second on the team in three-point field goals made and attempts while being ranked among the top 10 in those two categories in league games. Gomez recorded 12 double-figure scoring games which included a season-high 19 point performance against Boise State. She ranks seventh all-time in school history in three-point field goals made and 11th in attempts.
“Marta has established herself as an impact player in the Wyoming program. She has accepted her role and flourished. Marta is a vital part of another 20 win season and the future looks bright for Marta. Repeating as the Sixth Player of the Year is quite an accomplishment.”
Cotton, a junior from Denver, Colo., played in all 18 games. She averaged 8.1 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds. She also led the way in steals with 1.1 per contest and recorded ten blocked shots. She recorded six double-figure scoring games including a career-high 19 points and 12 rebounds against Fresno State.
“Bailee brings the energy to our program each and every day. As an undersized post player, Bailee is given a difficult matchup each and every night. Bailee’s selection to the All MW Defensive Team is a tribute to her competitiveness and understanding of the game.”
Legerski earns Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career. The 15th-year head coach also received the award following the 2003-04 and 2016-17 seasons. He helped lead the Cowgirls to a 20-plus win season for the ninth time in his career and a program best 13 conference victories. The all-time winningest head coach in school history he has amassed 287 overall wins and an MW best 146 conference victories.
The Cowgirls open up play at the 2018 Mountain West Tournament on Tuesday against the winner of the New Mexico/San Jose State game. Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m. MT at the Thomas & Mack Center.