Clutch Plays Help Cowgirls Win at New Mexico, 63-62
Marta Gomez scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter to lead the Wyoming Cowgirls to a 63-62 victory at New Mexico Wednesday night.
Gomez made a pair of clutch free throws with two seconds left that put UW up 63-59. The Lobos hit a desperation three that banked in at the buzzer that provided the final margin.
Wyoming (19-7, 12-3) won its fifth straight overall and fifth in a row in the series against New Mexico.
Head coach Joe Legerski said in a release from the university, he knew it was going to be tough against a Lobos team that was 16-1 at home.
“New Mexico got off to a great start. We don’t panic and talked about doing what we do, moving in the motion offense and get open looks. Selale (Kepenc) gave us a huge lift with 15 points, played well defensively and gave us what we needed. She played well in here a year ago. Marta (Gomez) is just being Marta with ten points in 20 minutes. The big play was the jumper she hit that kept it a two possession game. We needed to shoot free throws better, but this is a tough environment, learning experience and it seemed like we hit enough to keep it at a two-possession game.”
Selale Kepenc scored a career-high 15 points off the bench to lead the way. She knocked down 4-4 from three-point range. Natalie Baker also was in double figures with 11 points.
Legerski added, “I also thought we handled the full court pressure with only 12 turnovers in being pressed for 40 minutes. We made big shots throughout and everyone contributed.”
The Cowgirls held a 45-38 lead starting the fourth quarter. The Lobos trimmed it to 51-49 with just under four minutes left. At the 2:41 mark, Gomez made a key three in the corner that put Wyoming up 56-51. Just over a minute later, Gomez made a big lay-up at the 1:35 mark for a 58-53 lead.
Gomez and Clara Tapia combined for 3-of-6 free throws in the final minute that kept it a two possession game. New Mexico also went 2-4 at the line during the same span. That led to Gomez clinching free throws before a Jaisa Nunn 3-point heave went in at the buzzer.
Wyoming shot 38 percent from the field, but went 10-20 from deep. They got 28 points off the bench and out-rebounded the Lobos 37-31.
New Mexico was led by Nunn with 19 points and nine rebounds. They also shot 38 percent for the game.
The Lobos jumped out to 7-0 and 13-5 leads early, but the Cowgirls fought back on baskets by Liv Roberts and Kepenc that tied it at 13. It was 25-24 UW at half. The Cowgirls went on a 12-3 run early in the third quarter with seven of those points coming from Baker. That made it 40-31.
Wyoming returns home Saturday to face Fresno State at 2 p.m.