Gomez Saves Best for Last; Cowgirls Clinch MW Bye
Marta Gomez has this habit. It's called late-game magic.
And with her second fourth-quarter, game-saving effort on the road in as many games, Gomez put the finishing touches on big win for the Cowgirls, 63-62, at New Mexico.
How big a win? Big enough that while the Cowgirls still have a battle to claim the MWC regular-season title they did clinch a first-round bye in the MW Tournament with three games still to play.
“We knew it was going to be difficult coming in,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “New Mexico was 16-1 at home. They are talented, well-coached and then the fans started to get in to it. There were 4,800 fans tonight and New Mexico got off to a great start. We don’t panic and talked about doing what we do, moving in the motion offense and get open looks."
It was Gomez who hit three three-point shots in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner with seven-tenths of a second on the clock, at San Jose State on Saturday. And it was Gomez who scored all 10 of her points in the final 2:47 of play in the Cowgirls win at New Mexico on Wednesday, including two free throws withtwo seconds to play.
.Give the rest of the Cowgirls credit. They are the ones who helped put the team in a position to win in the Pit with a shutdown defense that held the Lobos 20 points below their season average.
The Cowgirls held the Lobos to 38 percent shooting from the field -- 19 for 50 -- and Jaisa Nunn accounted for seven of those field goals in only nine attempts.
The loss left New Mexico with an 8-6 record, four games back of the co-leaders -- the Cowgirls and UNLV -- with only three games to play. Boise and Fresno are just a game back of the lead at 11-4, and Colorado State is 10-4.
While Gomez scored those 10 fourth-quarter points, Selale Kepnec led the Cowgirls with 15 points and Natalie Baker scored 11.
The Cowgirls have three games remaining -- Saturday against Fresno State and Mar. 2 against Boise State at home, and next Wednesday at Air Force. Air Force upset San Diego State Wednesday for only its third win in 15 conference games.