By Jamie Bridenstine
LARAMIE -- With a lift from the crowd and fresmen Quinn Weidemann and Karla Erjavec, the Cowgirls delivered a home-groun win of 78-71 against the South Alabama Jaguars in the second round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).
Head Coach Joe Legerski was thrilled about the turnout at the Arena-Auditorium.
“It’s a great tournament that our fans are excited about, and I can’t say enough about our fans today," he said. "It was loud, they got into things, they made it exciting, and that’s the reason we choose Wyoming.”
But more importantly, Legerski was thrilled about the talent he saw on the court from Weidemann and Erjavec.
Erjavec contributed 19 points, staying focused and bringing the pressure the entire game. Her biggest talent? Finding the pocket to make the big shots.
“They were paying so much attention to our shooters, Marta and Taylor, and when attacking the rim, I got open,” Erjavec said.
“She had the most difficult assignment defensively,” Legerski said. “It helps us to have two point guards on the floor most of the night, with her and Clara, because now when the pressure comes its easier for us to choose where we want to bring the ball.”
The game looked grim going into halftime, as the Jaguars picked up their defense to lead 21-15. But the Cowgirls readjusted their strategy and came out firing with a strong three-pointer by Marta Gomez. Gomez lead the team in scoring with 22 points.
Weidemann made big plays for the 25 minutes she played. And in the last minute, she made the game changing 3-pointer that allowed the Cowgirls an eight-point. She turned up the heat, and the rest of her team answered. Senior Marta Gomez responded with four free throws, and Weidemann had the final say of the game with two free throws of her own.
Looking forward to round three, the Cowgirls will face off the winner of the Pepperdine/ Saint Mary’s match.
The Cowgirls lost to the Saint Mary’s College of California in the non-conference season, 90-84. They have a chance at redemption in the next round.
“If we play them again we have a chance to see how much we’ve grown and how much we’ve improved,” Gomez said. “We had a good chance to beat them there, but we have a better chance to beat them here.”
This season is the third consecutive one where the Cowgirls are playing in the WNIT. This is also the second time in the team’s history where the Cowgirls are in round three.
Catch the Cowgirls in action on Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 in the Arena-Auditorium.