* A University of Wyoming press release contributed to this report

LAS VEGAS, Nev., – The Wyoming Cowgirl offense went cold at the worst time Monday night at the Mountain West Championship.

The Cowgirls lost 62-54 in the quarterfinals to Boise State as the Broncos ended the game on a 15-4 run over the final five-plus minutes.

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A year after making it to the conference title game in Las Vegas and punching its ticket to the WNIT, Wyoming is heading home with no guarantee of a postseason berth.

"Losing is never easy," Wyoming head coach Heather Ezell said on X Monday night. "Walking into a locker room of tears is hard, but I wouldn’t want to coach any other team or go to battle with any other group. We will come back stronger. We will come back better."

The Cowgirls squandered a three-point third-quarter lead last Tuesday at San Diego State, allowing the Aztecs to close out on a 25-12 run over the final 10 minutes of the regular-season finale.

Two games prior, Wyoming was hammering lowly San Jose State, 75-44. Though the visitors would win that one 88-73, they allowed the Spartans to go on a 29-13 run in the fourth quarter.

In a home meeting with New Mexico on Feb 24, Wyoming entered the final frame with a 27-15 advantage. The Lobos outscored the Cowgirls 18-13 and claimed a 59-58 victory inside the Arena-Auditorium.

That's called a pattern. A disturbing one, at that.

"It wasn't just today," UW forward Allyson Fertig said postgame. "It's been the couple of last games, but like coach was just saying, we can make those shots in the first, second and third quarter. For some reason, we just can't knock them down in the fourth quarter. I think that's just going to be a big emphasis for us to being able to knock those shots down when we are pressured and when it means the most."

The action was fast-paced to open the game as the Cowgirls hit four of their first five shots. Boise State matched the offensive output however, as it led 10-8 at the media timeout. Out of the timeout, UW reclaimed the lead on an Emily Mellema 3-pointer. The Cowgirls continued their 9-0 run to push the lead to 17-10 with 1:51 left in the first, leading to a Bronco timeout. The rest of the frame saw as big as an eight-point advantage for Wyoming as it led 19-12 after one.

The second quarter started off as more of a defensive struggle as Boise cut the deficit to just four before a Tess Barnes 3-pointer became UW’s first field goal of the quarter. The Cowgirl lead was 25-18 at the media. After the timeout, it was the Broncos’ turn to make a run as they took a 27-25 lead with under two minutes left in the half. The rest of the half saw back-to-back layups from Wyoming give it a 29-27 lead going into the locker room.

Allyson Fertig opened the second half with the first five points for the Cowgirls as they had an early 34-29 advantage. Wyoming led 39-31 at the media timeout. Following the media, Boise State again went on a run, controlling the end of the quarter. The Broncos went on a 9-2 run toward the end of the frame before a Malene Pedersen 3-pointer to beat the buzzer gave UW a 44-40 lead going to the fourth.

The fourth began with the two teams trading stops before the Broncos took their first lead of the second half with 6:31 remaining. The lead went right back to the Cowgirls on the next possession thanks to a Fertig layup. After a UW timeout with 5:48 left to play, it was Boise State’s turn to go back in front just before the final media and it didn’t trail again. The final 4:03 of the game saw the Broncos make a couple of big shots as the UW offense struggled down the stretch, allowing Boise to pull away in the waning moments.

The Cowgirls shot 42.3-percent overall for the game and were at 50-percent at one point Monday, before closing the contest making just 1-of-10 late. UW made just 4-of-16 from 3-point range while the Broncos made 8-of-17 from beyond-the-arc, including three during their late-game stretch. Boise shot 42.1-percent on the night.

"I think the big thing -- I've got to take the heat of it, being able to finish games," Ezell said. "There's something that hasn't been clicking for us and, as a head coach, I have to take that responsibility. We have to do some things in practice maybe a little bit different so that we can start finishing games better.

"... We give all the effort in the first, second, and third quarter, and then we seem to hit something in the fourth quarter where either the pressure gets a little too tight or whatnot, and that's on me. I have to get them ready to finish all 40 minutes."

Fertig finished the night one rebound shy of her fourth consecutive double-double as she had 16 points and nine rebounds. Fertig also tied the Mountain West Championship record for blocks in a a game with seven in the loss. Pedersen was the other Cowgirl to finish in double figures as she closed with 13. Ola Ustowska logged a game-high five assists.

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