Wyoming remained undefeated, as defense led the charge in the Cowgirls 61-51 victory over the Denver Pioneers Thursday night.

The Cowgirls held the Pioneers to 32 percent shooting on their home floor and overcame 22 turnovers in the win.

From the Learfield Sports Network post-game show, Wyoming head coach Joe Legerski felt his team fought down the stretch.

“We always know it’s difficult to play on the road, and in the last five minutes during the media timeout, what we talked about is here we are again. This is who we are. We have to win the last five minutes to win the basketball game. Denver made a run at us, I think got it down to three. We come back Taylor (Rusk) hits a big three. Then, Taylor Rusk makes a couple of nice dishes, Bailee (Cotton) finishes, and we get it right back up to nine or 10. You can see the confidence in this team.”

Wyoming (3-0) was led by Liv Roberts’ 17 points and nine rebounds. Natalie Baker added 12 points and nine boards, while Rusk finished with a career-best five assists, plus seven points and six rebounds. The Cowgirls shot only 39 percent from the floor. They were 16-18, 89 percent, at the foul line. Wyoming also had an edge on the glass, 44-31, over the Pioneers.

Denver (1-2) got a game-high 18 points from freshman Clair Gritt.

The Cowgirls held DU without a field goal in the first quarter and had a 10-3 lead. In the second, six points from Baker and a basket by Roberts pushed the Wyoming lead to 27-14. It was 27-17 at half.

After the Pioneers pulled within five, at 30-25, UW responded with a 9-0 run. Denver kept battling and got within 46-43 early in the fourth. That’s when Rusk knocked down the 3-pointer, and then found Cotton for a 3-point play and a 52-43 lead. Free throws and baskets by Rusk and Cotton helped Wyoming close out the victory.

The Cowgirls return home for their next game. It will be Tuesday, Nov. 21 versus the Drake Bulldogs. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. in Laramie.

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