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Dent sparks Cowgirls to victory
Nov 18, 2013 - From staff reports
From the time Joe Legerski and his staff started recruiting Marquelle Dent to come to the University of Wyoming, they likely had a game like Friday night in mind.
It took a little over a year, but Dent came through with a breakthrough performance against Montana State with a career-high 19 points in 26 minutes to lead the Cowgirls to a 72-62 win before a crowd of 3,505 at the Arena-Auditorium.
Wyoming improved to 3-0 on the early season, while Montana State fell to 1-1.
Dent had shown flashes of being one of the top point guards in the country coming out of Regis High in Denver. Friday night she put together her most complete game. The story was reported by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
The 5-foot-7 sophomore was 6 of 9 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free throw line for her 19 points. Dent's previous career high was nine points last year. And she had scored just five points coming into Friday's game. Dent said she wasn't necessarily looking to score, but that's what MSU gave her.
"There was definitely more opportunity to attack the basket tonight," Dent said. "They took away my drive and kick a little more, so it was kind of an opportunity to get to the basket. I was able to get out in transition and push the ball."
But Dent wasn't the only Cowgirl recording a career high Friday.
UW junior Kayla Woodward set her career high with 15 rebounds to go with 17 points for her seventh career double-double. Senior Fallon Lewis added 15 points and a career-best 11 boards for her second double-double as a Cowgirl. Junior Kaitlyn Mileto added 12 points as UW put four players in double figures for the second straight game.
Wyoming outrebounded Montana State 60-56 in a game where neither team shot the ball well.
The Bobcats were 25 of 82 (30.5 percent) while the Cowgirls were 21 of 66 (31.8 percent).
"Rebounds are an effort thing," Woodward said. "It helps so much when everyone is crashing the boards. We just had to stay calm there at the beginning because we were rushing things."
For the second straight game, the Cowgirls started slowly. Montana State led 9-2 four minutes into the game. UW took its first lead at 19-18 on a Lewis basket. The hoop was part of a 20-2 Wyoming run that pushed the lead to 33-20. UW led 41-31 at the half.
Wyoming led by as many as 15 points in the second half before MSU pulled within 61-54 with just over four minutes to play.
Woodward ended any comeback thoughts with a big 3-pointer and rebound basket over the next 75 seconds.
"There's some grit to them and they just keep fighting," saidUW coach Joe Legerski, who recorded his 199th career win with the program. "We knew Montana State wouldn't go away. We knew we had to keep the pressure on them because we knew at some point and time we'd make a run."
Montana State was led by Jackie Elliott with 11 points.
"Anytime we beat a Montana team or a Big Sky team it's huge for us," Lewis said.
"We definitely played physical back and ended up winning."
Former NBA legend John Stockton was in the Arena-Auditorium for Friday's game.
Stockton, who starred for the Utah Jazz and is the NBA record holder in assists with 15,806 and steals with 3,265.