Bailee Cotton scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds, as the Wyoming Cowgirls held off the Idaho State Bengals, 61-53, Sunday in Laramie.

Marta Gomez added 16 points off the bench. She went 4-4 from deep in the first half. It all helped UW snap a three-game losing skid.

Head coach Joe Legerski called a hard fought win.

“Bailee (Cotton) and Marta (Gomez) really carried the weight of the team in this game. Bailee was making 15-to-17 foot shots with the shot clock winding down and to come up with a double-double, and played well defensively. Then in the first half, Marta gave us a big lift, going 4-4 from three and that got us the lead, and we needed every point. We knew we had to get to the free throw line, but you look at the stats and both teams did. It was a very physical and difficult game, and I was proud of how we competed until the end. You always need players to step up, and we had players that did that for us.”

Wyoming (5-3) scored the first eight points of the game. Their lead eventually grew to 17-4. Gomez made three triples in the first quarter, as the Cowgirl built a 24-11 lead. UW shot 67 percent in the opening quarter, but then struggled and shot 30 percent or worse in the last three periods.

Neither team got much going in the second, as both teams combined for 5-21 from the field. Wyoming led 36-21 at halftime. Another stagnant quarter saw the squads shoot 6-23 from the floor, and it was 46-31 UW after three.

Idaho State (5-3) came back in the fourth quarter. The Bengals shot 50 percent and got as close as seven points, at 58-51. The Cowgirls made five of their final six free throws in the last two minutes and preserved the victory.

Wyoming shot 40 percent from the field. They were 24-36, 67 percent, at the foul line. UW had 16 turnovers, which included 11 in the second half.

Idaho State was led by Grace Kenyon, who scored a game-high 22 points. The Bengals shot 34 percent from the floor. They were 16-23 at the charity stripe, 70 percent. Idaho State hurt themselves with 18 turnovers.

The Cowgirls return to the road Saturday at Idaho. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

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