FRESNO, Calif.– The Wyoming basketball team (14-7 overall, 7-3 MW) suffered its second straight loss with a 60-47 defeat by the Fresno State Bulldogs (13-10 overall, 8-4 MW) on Saturday afternoon.
UW Struggled Offensively
“One of the things, we look at how many good shots we had,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “I worry if we are getting good shots and we did tonight. We executed what we wanted to do, unfortunately the basketball didn’t go in.
“When you struggle offensively, you get concerned if you are taking bad shots, turning the ball over too much and tonight we turned the ball over entirely too many times.”
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Roberts Led UW in Scoring and Rebounds
Senior Liv Roberts finished her night with a team-high 15 points and nine rebounds in 38 minutes of play. Junior Marta Gomez followed with nine points off the bench while junior Bailee Cotton and sophomore Taylor Rusk with eight points each.
Cotton also brought down nine rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 17-of-55 (.309) from the field and 6-of-26 (.231) from beyond the arc. Despite out rebounding the Bulldogs, 46-30, UW committed 16 turnovers which resulted in 14 points for Fresno State.
Cowgirls Could Not Convert Rebounds into Points
“We had 14 offensive rebounds, but only had nine second chance points. You give yourself a second opportunity but don’t convert. We have to start taking a looking at where and when we are shooting the ball well it takes care of itself.
“We played well again defensively, but couldn’t come up with enough points on our end.”
The Bulldogs were led by senior Candice White with a game-high 19 points plus seven rebounds. Freshman Maddi Utti followed with 15 points and three steals and sophomore Kristina Cavey came off the bench and chipped in 12 points.
Freshman Aly Gamez had a team-high eight rebounds plus six points. Fresno State was 23-of-60 (.383) from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 (1.00) from the charity stripe.
UW Gets Early Lead
Cotton scored the first six points of the game for Wyoming to put them ahead 6-2 in the early going of the game. The Bulldogs hit the next two baskets to tie it up at six, which was answered with baskets Roberts and sophomore Taylor Rusk to make it 11-6 in favor of Cowgirls.
Fresno State answered with nine straight to regain the lead 15-11. Roberts hit a jumper to end a three-minute scoreless stretch and started a small run to give UW a 16-15 advantage, but a late basket by Utti gave the Bulldogs a 17-16 lead after one.
The Cowgirls scored the first three points of the second quarter to take back the lead, 19-17. Fresno State scored the next 10 of 12 to extend the lead to six, 27-21.
Bulldogs Lead at Halftime
After a three by Gomez, the Bulldogs scored the last three points to take a 30-24 advantage headed in to the locker room.
Wyoming was led in the first half by Roberts with a team-high seven points plus three rebounds. Cotton followed with six points and seven boards while Rusk added five points. The Cowgirls shot 9-of-27 (.333) from the field and 3-of-12 (.250) beyond the arc.
The Bulldogs were led by Utti with 11 points followed by White with six points and four rebounds. Gamez had a team-leading five rebounds. Fresno State shot 13-of-32 (.406) from the field and had 20 points in the paint.
Bulldogs Increase Lead to Double-Digits
The Bulldogs kept the momentum going out of the break scoring five of the first seven points to increase the lead to nine, 35-26. UW responded with a 6-2 run close the deficit to five, 37-32.
Back to back field goals from Fresno State made it a nine-point game, 41-32, forcing a Cowgirl timeout. A three by Gomez ended a long scoring drought for Wyoming, but a 7-3 run from the Bulldogs to increase the lead to double-digits, 48-38.
Over the next three minute stretch the Cowgirls tried to battle back and pulled to within seven, 52-45, with 4:43 remaining on the clock. Unfortunately that would be as close as it would get.
UW could only manage to score one field goal the rest of the way and Fresno State wrapped up the 60-47 victory.
The Cowgirls continue play on the road on Wednesday against the Utah State Aggies. The game is set for 7 pm MT at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah.