* University of Wyoming press release

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., – A big second half from New Mexico and a sputtering offense from the Wyoming Cowgirls in the second half led to a 68-61 defeat Wednesday night on the road at The Pit for Wyoming.

UW shot just 31.3-percent from the field and went 3-of-18 from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes. Wyoming committed 19 turnovers for the game. The Cowgirls led by 13 early in the third quarter before UNM responded.

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Malene Pedersen got the first two baskets for the Cowgirls as they held an early 6-4 lead at the first media timeout. Out of the timeout, the Lobos were able to go on a run, taking an 11-6 lead later in the frame. However, UW would respond from there, ending the first on a 12-4 run and taking an 18-15 lead after one.

The second began strongly for Wyoming, as it built up a 29-21 lead and led 29-23 at the second quarter media. Much like it did in the first quarter, the Lobos came out strong out of the timeout, cutting the Cowgirl lead down to just 29-27.

Again, though, the Brown & Gold responded, going on an 8-0 run to push the lead to double digits, 37-27. The Cowgirls, who recorded an assist on 11 of their first 12 baskets Wednesday, led 38-31 at halftime.

In the second half, the Cowgirls opened with the first three baskets to take a 13-point advantage and forcing a UNM timeout with 8:21 to go in the frame. Out of the timeout, New Mexico did what it did in the first half, responded, and this time, went on a huge run to take a 48-46 lead as Wyoming went cold offensively and turned the ball over seven times in the quarter.

UW led 51-48 after three though, thanks to a Tess Barnes half-court 3-pointer as time expired.

The fourth quarter started as a defensive battle as only three total points were scored in the first near-four minutes of the frame. The Lobos were able to get a desperation 3-pointer to fall and took a 56-53 lead with 4:31 left to play.

The Cowgirls couldn’t get the lead back from there as UNM was able to keep the Wyoming offense down the rest of the way on its way to securing the victory.

The Lobos shot 25 more free throws than Wyoming did in the contest and shot 52.4-percent overall for the game while the Cowgirls shot 43.3-percent overall. UW had a plus-10 advantage on the boards (34-24) and had an 8-2 edge in second-chance points.

UNM outscored the Cowgirls 36-34 in the paint, had an 11-2 advantage in fast break points and had a 23-14 edge points off turnovers.

Allyson Fertig and Pedersen ended the game in double figures, scoring 14 and 13, respectively. Fertig also led UW with eight rebounds and tied a career-high with three assists. Barnes and Emily Mellema led the Cowgirls with four assists each in the loss.

Next up, the Cowgirls look to bounce back from their first Mountain West trip-up of the season. Border War rival Colorado State comes to Laramie for a 2 p.m. contest Saturday.

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