LARAMIE, Wyo. — Wyoming’s Marta Gomez scored a game-high 27 points, including a back-breaking three-pointer with one-minute remaining to guide the Cowgirls to a 66-58 win over Montana State on Tuesday night in the Arena-Auditorium.
Trailing by five just seconds into the fourth quarter, Montana State (3-2) rattled off a 9-2 run to take a 50-48 lead with 5:51 remaining. The two teams traded leads three times down the stretch. Blaire Braxton’s layup with 1:32 left pulled the Bobcats to within 56-55. It would be the closest MSU would get to Wyoming (4-2) as Gomez’ triple gave the Cowgirls the cushion they needed in the waning moments.
MSU overcame a seven-point halftime deficit, shooting 60 percent from the field in the third frame. Montana State and Wyoming exchanged counter punches in the final three minutes of the quarter before a 3-pointer by Taylor Rusk gave UW a 44-41 advantage heading into the final ten-minutes.
“I thought we responded well after halftime, but Wyoming made the plays down the stretch they needed to,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford.
Bobcat miscues assisted Wyoming’s effort as the Cowgirls converted 16 MSU turnovers into 26 points, while Montana State notched two points on 11 UW errors.
“We need to control our turnovers and share the ball more,” Binford said. “Wyoming forces you to play into second and third side and we lacked patience to swing the ball. Too many unforced turnovers created too many extra possessions.”
Claire Lundberg paced Montana State with a team-high 13 points. Oliana Squires added nine points, while Madeline Smith and Gabby Mocchi added eight, apiece. Smith guided the Bobcats under the glass with a team-best five rebounds.
Montana State will host Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Friday night in Worthington Arena.