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Cowgirls Second Half Surge Leads to Win Over New Mexico

Natalie Baker battles UNM 17
Seneca Riggins, Townsquare Media

The Wyoming Cowgirls are off to their best start in conference play in program history after Saturday’s 68-52 win over New Mexico in Laramie.

They extended their winning streak to nine straight games, which is the longest since the 2007-08 team won 12 straight that season. It’s also the best start through 18 games since that same team (07-08) went 17-1 that year.

Cowgirls head coach Joe Legerski said in a release from UW, that this game dealt with match-ups.

“New Mexico creates a number of problems for you, on the inside and perimeter, so we had to juggle what we wanted to do offensively and to make sure when we changed, it worked for us defensively. I thought Natalie (Baker) and Marta (Gomez) did a tremendous job. We had to put two shooting four players in the game and ask them to guard 6-4 and 6-5 all night. I thought they stepped up and opened so many lanes for Hailey (Ligocki) and Liv (Roberts).”

Wyoming (15-3, 7-0) used a strong second half to pull away for the victory. The Cowgirls trailed 33-30 at half, but limited New Mexico to six points in the third quarter. The Lobos got within 50-48 with 6:41 left, but Wyoming responded with 14 straight points and closed out the win to remain atop the Mountain West women’s basketball standings.

Natalie Baker scored a season-high 18 points. Liv Roberts posted a third straight double-double with 14 points and career-high 15 rebounds. Hailey Ligocki added 14 points, while Taylor Rusk chipped in nine. The Cowgirls shot 44 percent from the field, went 12-of-16 at the foul line and out-rebounded the Lobos 40-31.

New Mexico (9-9, 5-3) was led by Cherise Beynon with 20 points. They shot only 35.6 percent from the field and went 4-24, 17 percent, from deep.

Legerski added in the release, “I would also like to tip my hat to our fans. The placed rocked today. It was loud, they were behind us and helped us in the third quarter, which I think was a part of us turning the corner.”

The Cowgirls head on the road for their next two games against UNLV and Boise State on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 28, respectively.

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