The University of Wyoming women’s basketball team held off a late rally at New Mexico on Wednesday to escape with a 63-62 win and remain atop the Mountain West standings.
The Cowgirls (19-7, 12-3 MW) led 25-24 at the half and increased their margin to nine points at 40-31 midway through the third quarter.
UW took a 45-37 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Lobos (20-8, 8-7) took advantage of some missed opportunities by the Cowgirls at the free throw line to make it a two-point game three times in the fourth quarter.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming in,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said in a release. “We needed to shoot free throws better, but this is a tough environment ... and it seemed like we hit enough to keep it a two-possession game.”
Marta Gomez hit 1 of 2 from the line with 34 seconds remaining to give the Cowgirls a 59-55 lead and Clara Tapia made 2 of 4 on Wyoming’s next two possessions. Her last free throw gave the Cowgirls a 61-57 lead with 10 seconds to play.
After the Lobos scored inside, Gomez knocked down two free throws with 2 seconds remaining to make it 63-59. New Mexico’s Jaisa Nunn banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer but it wasn’t enough.
Wyoming has now won five in a row and remains tied with UNLV atop the conference standings, although the Cowgirls own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Selale Kepenc was 4-of-4 from behind the arc and finished with 15 points to lead Wyoming, while Natalie Baker added 11 and Gomez finished with 10.