Cowgirls hang on late to beat Fresno State
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release
FRESNO, Calif., -- It was a tale of two halves Saturday in Fresno as the Wyoming Cowgirls held on late for a hard-fought 61-58 win over Fresno State. UW led by 13 at the half and hit a couple of big shots in the fourth to hold on for victory.
After shooting 52-percent from the floor and going 4-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half, the Cowgirls shot just 8-of-24 overall from the field and hit 3-of-8 from beyond-the-arc. The Bulldogs outscored the Cowgirls by 10 in the second half.
The Cowgirls scored the first seven points of the game to jump out early and played solid on both ends of the court in the first quarter, leading 14-8 after one. UW held the Bulldogs to just 3-of-13 shooting in the first.
In the second, UW began the frame continuing to play strongly, extending the lead to 21-10 with under eight minutes to play in the half. From there, the Bulldogs started to find their offensive rhythm a bit, cutting the Cowgirl lead down to 24-18 before a Quinn Weidemann 3-pointer ended the Fresno mini-run.
With under four minutes to play in the second, the Cowgirls got the lead back up to double-digits at 31-18. FSU would whittle the lead back down to single digits later in the frame to make it 33-24, but in the final 48 seconds of the half, the Cowgirls would score the last four points. Emily Mellema’s running layup beat the halftime buzzer and UW led 37-24 at the break.
The second half began with the Cowgirls struggling offensively and missing some good looks from the field. Fresno State would open the half going on a 7-0 run and cutting the UW lead down to 37-31 before Alba Sanchez Ramos’ layup ended the Cowgirl drought. Wyoming led 42-36 with 4:46 to go in the third at the media timeout after the two teams exchanged 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs would continue finding their offensive rhythm in the quarter while the Cowgirls struggled on the offensive end, shooting just 4-for-13 from the floor in the third and 1-of-3 at the free-throw line. Fresno outscored UW 16-10 in the frame as Wyoming held on to a 47-40 lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth, Fresno State opened the quarter just like it did the third, going on a run and cutting the Cowgirl lead down to just one, 47-46 at the final media timeout with 4:45 to play. After missing a pair at the free-throw line out the timeout, Fresno took its first lead of the game the next time down the court. UW shot just 12-for-22 from the charity stripe in the win.
The Cowgirls responded the next time down the floor with a Tommi Olson corner 3-pointer with under four minutes remaining. After the two teams traded defensive stops, the Bulldogs would regain the lead 51-50, on a 3-pointer with 2:25 to play. Sanchez Ramos would hit a free-throw line jumper on the next trip down to put UW back in front. After another stop, Weidemann hit a 3-pointer to push the advantage to 55-51 with 1:24 to go.
Fresno State would get a hoop the next time down the floor, but McKinley Bradshaw’s baseline drive led to a three-point play and UW was out front 58-53 with 47.2 to play and the Bulldogs taking a timeout. On the defensive end, Olson’s steal would send Weidemann to the line after a Fresno foul. Weidemann would hit one and Fresno State took another timeout to advance the ball with 36.9 to play.
However, the Bulldogs would respond with a big 3-pointer with 27.4 to play as they cut the Cowgirl advantage in half, 59-56. After a Grace Ellis free throw, FSU would miss two 3-pointers on the offensive end and UW would hit another freebie, leading to a timeout with 6.6 to play and a 61-56 Cowgirl lead. Wyoming would allow a last-second layup and then inbounded the ball as time expired
FSU out-rebounded Wyoming 37-32 in the contest and had an 11-3 advantage in second-chance points. Both teams tallied 15 bench points while the Bulldogs had a 28-22 edge in points in the paint.
Three Cowgirls finished the game in double figures as Weidemann led the way with 12 points and hit a trio of 3-pointers. Bradshaw and Sanchez Ramos added 11 each. Bradshaw ended just a rebound shy of a double-double as she grabbed a team-best nine boards. Sanchez Ramos added seven boards of her own to go along with a season-best six assists and a pair of steals. Ellis and Mellema chipped in with seven and six, respectively off the bench. Both squads scored 15 bench points on the day.
Wyoming now travels to face San Jose State in a 7 p.m., Mountain Time contest Monday, Feb. 14. The game is a makeup contest from earlier in the season.
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