Cowgirls’ Slow Start Costs Against SDSU

This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five...
This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five games since the 2017-2018 season.(Tyler Davis, UW AthMarketing)
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 11:41 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Press Release) - A slow start to open both the game and the second half proved fatal for the Wyoming Cowgirls Saturday night, as San Diego State held off the Cowgirls for a 73-66 win in Laramie.

San Diego State jumped out to an early 8-1 lead as the Cowgirls started 0-for-8 from the floor. The Aztecs led 8-3 at the first media timeout as a Quinn Weidemann layup finally lifted the lid for UW. Out of the timeout, the Cowgirls continued to struggle on the offensive end and called a timeout with 2:41 to go, trailing 14-5 after back-to-back 3-pointers from SDSU. The Aztecs extended the lead to 19-9 after one.

The second quarter began the same as the first, as San Diego State continued to hit shots while the Cowgirls couldn’t find a rhythm early on. The Aztecs pushed the lead out to 24-11 with eight minutes left in the half. Wyoming would respond, though, scoring seven-straight, leading to an SDSU timeout with 6:17 left in the half. Following the timeout, the two teams would start trading baskets before back-to-back layups from the Cowgirls got them to within 30-28 with under two minutes to go in the half. The Aztecs would lengthen the lead back up, slightly, 34-31 to end the half.

UW ended the half making its final five shots and shot 12-of-29 but just 1-for-8 from beyond-the-arc in the opening 20 minutes. SDSU, meanwhile, shot 14-for-30 and hit 4-of-8 from 3-point range. The Cowgirls hit 6-of-8 at the free-throw line in the first half.

In the third, the Cowgirls got the first hoop, but the Aztecs would go on a run from there, 10-0 to push the lead up to 44-33 and forcing a UW timeout with 6:19 left in the third. After the timeout, the run continued for San Diego State as it extended the lead up to 50-35. Wyoming would reel the deficit back in to 50-42 with 2:15 left before SDSU ended the quarter with a 6-0 run and took a 56-42 lead into the fourth.

Wyoming started the fourth with a 6-2 run, forcing a SDSU timeout with 7:22 left to play and the score at 58-48 in favor of the Aztecs. The Cowgirls would get to within five, twice, with under 3:30 to go, but would then go on a near-three-minute scoring drought before a Weidemann corner 3-pointer brought it to 66-62 with 24.3 remaining. The Cowgirls would get a free throw after a steal, but San Diego State would salt it away at the line from there.

The Cowgirls ended up shooting a better percentage from the floor on the night, going 27-for-56, for a 48.2-percent clip. SDSU shot 25-of-55 (45.5-percent) but went 5-of-10 from 3-point range and made 18-of-19 free throws. Wyoming, meanwhile, went just 3-of-13 from range and 9-of-15 at the charity stripe.

UW outscored the Aztecs 42-34 in points in the paint, but was outscored 11-5 in points off turnovers, despite turning the ball over one fewer time (7-8) than SDSU. The Aztecs also ended up with a 6-3 edge in second-chance points and outscored the Cowgirl bench 24-21. San Diego State also had a 33-28 advantage in rebounding on the night.

Weidemann led all scorers with 19 on the night, hitting eight of her 14 shots. Allyson Fertig ended up with 15 points and eight rebounds while Emily Mellema added 11 and three assists off the bench. It marked the third time in the last four games that Mellema has scored in double figures. Also off the bench, Marta Savic provided a spark with six points, three boards and three assists in 16 minutes of action.

“I said it Thursday, we’re not a double-digit points from behind type of team,” said Associate Head Coach Ryan Larsen postgame.

“I’m not sure what our issues are in the first and third quarters right now. We’re capable of more, we have not performed the last two games up to our capabilities. It’s a lot of simple things to correct.”

Saturday ends a five-game in 11-day span for the Cowgirls. Wyoming will look to bounce back on the road next week, beginning with a 6 p.m., contest Thursday at Utah State.