LARAMIE — A basket by Fresno State and a miss by the Cowgirls in the final seconds of the game Saturday had the Wyoming women’s basketball team (7-8 overall, 2-3 MW) come up short, 66-65, against the Fresno State Bulldogs (13-3 overall, 5-0 MW).
Senior forward Kayla Woodward finished with a game-high 20 points and six rebounds while shooting 7-11 from the field and 4-5 from beyond the arc. Junior guard Marquelle Dent also added 20 points, three assists and two steals. Junior guard Jordan Kelley added 11 points and five rebounds in her effort.
The Cowgirls were 24-of-52 (.462) from the field, 8-of-16 (.500) and 9-of-12 (.750) from the charity stripe. Wyoming had 18 points off turnovers and ten second chance points.
“It was a great ball game we just happened to be on the short end of one missed shot,” head coach Joe Legerski said. “I thought Marquelle played as well as she has played. She found the open person we executed what we wanted in the last 30 seconds. They make a shot, we miss ours. We had great looks at the basket and did what we wanted. Kayla showed today why she’s a first team All-Conference player. For someone who gets keyed upon every night and goes 7-11 from the field, 20 points and we ask her to do so much. We talk about that we don’t need everybody to be great just good and Jordan Kelley took a step towards that tonight. Really changed some things around and made a couple of big baskets for us. In all these close games, there are too many what ifs and you can beat yourself up as a coach and a team. There is no telling what could have happened. We had a good shot at the buzzer, it just rimmed out and I give my team credit for fighting back.”
Junior guard Shauqunna Collins finished with a game-high 26 points followed by senior forward Alex Sheedy with 11 points. Redshirt freshman center Bego Faz Davalos recorded a team-high seven rebounds plus eight points. The Bulldogs were 27-of-58 (.466) from the field and 10-of-15 (.667) from the free throw line. Fresno State had 18 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Cowgirls 39-27. It also had 42 points in the paint and 16 bench points.
Woodward hit a three out of the halftime break to give the Cowgirls a 35-32 advantage. Fresno State responded with a 10-0 scoring run to regain a 42-35 lead. A field goal by Kelley ended a three-minute drought by Wyoming followed by a Woodward three made it a two-point contest, 42-40.
After a free throw by the Bulldogs, the Cowgirls scored five of seven to even up the score at 45 all. Six unanswered by Fresno State increased the lead back to six, 51-45. A basket by Rader and free throws by Woodward cut into the lead 53-49 with 9:49 on the clock.
The Bulldogs would score the next five of six to extend the lead back to eight, 58-50. A three-point play by Kelley started a small run to close the gap to five, 60-55. Collins scored two baskets giving the Bulldogs a nine-point lead, 64-55, with 4:18 on the clock. Started by another Kelley three-point field goal,
Wyoming scored the next ten straight including a basket by Dent to give the Cowgirls a 65-64 lead with 10.7 seconds left on the clock. Out of a timeout, Collins drove down and threw up a shot to put Fresno State up one, 66-65. The Cowgirls responded taking the ball down the full length of the court and the Dent had a great look at the basket which unfortunately fell short.
Wyoming got on the board first to with a jumper from Dent followed by two straight baskets by the Bulldogs put them ahead by one, 4-3. The Cowgirls scored the next four straight to go up by two, 6-4. Started by a Collins field-goal, Fresno State scored the next seven of nine to make it 11-8 through the first media timeout.
Woodward hit a shot to make it a one-point contest, 11-10, but the Bulldogs extended the lead to five, 17-12. The Cowgirls responded with a 12-2 run to give them a five-point advantage, 24-19. A basket by Faz Davalos ended a three-minute drought for the Bulldogs. The teams traded the next couple of scores as the Cowgirls continued to hold a four-point lead, 29-25.
A three-point field goal by Draper began a 7-0 run by Fresno State to make it a one-point game, 30-29. Both teams hit baskets to close out the half as it was all tied up at 32 going into the locker room.
Dent led all scorers in the half with 16. She was followed by Woodward with seven and Sibrel with five. Wyoming shot 12-of-25 (.480) from the field and 4-of-6 (.667) from beyond the arc. Fresno State was led by Collins with ten followed by Draper and Sheedy with seven. The Bulldogs were 15-of-31 (.484) from the field and outrebounded the Cowgirls 20-11.
The Cowgirls are back in action on Saturday against the New Mexico Lobos. The game is set for 2 p.m. MT in Albuquerque.