Baker’s Big Night Carries Cowgirls Past Utah State
Natalie Baker scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Wyoming Cowgirls to a 64-46 victory at Utah State Wednesday night.
Baker knocked down four 3-pointers and went 8-14 from the field. Liv Roberts added 12 points, while Marta Gomez and Marleah Campbell had 11 and 10, respectively.
Cowgirls head coach Joe Legerski praised Baker for her efforts in a release from UW.
“This game was everything we know that Natalie (Baker) can do for us. We needed every one of her points tonight when you look up at the scoreboard and see we won by 18 points. She got us off to a great start, and then to begin the third quarter we made a big push with her knocking down some shots. To see her go 4-6 from three and the shot she hit when they went to a zone, stepped up in the gap, and it made everyone more comfortable.”
Wyoming (15-7, 8-3) opened the game with a Baker three. She made two in the first quarter, while Roberts added one, as UW led 16-12 after the opening quarter. The Cowgirls gave the lead up in the second on a pair of three’s by Utah State’s Olivia West, which made it 20-18 at the 7:18 mark. Wyoming took the lead back for good when Roberts made a triple at the 3:47 mark of the second quarter. UW held a 27-24 lead at halftime.
The Cowgirls took control with a 20-2 run at the start of the second half. They allowed only nine points in the third quarter. Baker scored 10 of the first 12 points of the half. That included back-to-back 3-pointers which put UW ahead by double figures. It was 47-33 after three quarters.
An 11-1 run by the Cowgirls to begin the fourth put the game away. The lead grew to 26 before the final margin of 18.
Wyoming stopped their two-game slid with the win. They shot 50 percent from the field, which included 10-15, 67 percent, from beyond the arc. The Cowgirls had a 30-23 advantage in rebounding. They also scored 20 points off 14 Aggie turnovers, had 10 steals and finished with 18 assists on 24 field goals.
Legerski added, “This was a definitely a game of runs. At halftime, we were up by three, and I looked at the numbers and we played pretty well. Defensively to have 10 steals that was great rotation in everything we were doing.”
Utah State (5-18, 3-9) shot 37 percent for the game. West led the Aggies with 12 points.
The Wyoming win sets up a first place showdown Saturday versus UNLV at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. Tip-off is at 2 p.m.