SAN DIEGO, Callif. -
Despite a 20-point effort from senior Kayla Woodward and 17 from junior guard Marquelle Dent, the Wyoming women's basketball team (7-8 overall, 2-3 MW) suffered a three-point loss, 57-54, against the San Diego State Aztecs (5-10 overall, 2-2 MW) on Wednesday night in San Diego.
Woodward finished with a game-high 20 points while shooting 7-17 from the field and 4-11 from beyond the arc. Dent followed with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. Junior guard Jordan Kelley led the way with a team-high eight rebounds. The Cowgirls were 20-of-53 (.377) from the field and 8-of-28 (.286) from beyond the arc.
"The biggest thing about tonight was the shooting. I thought we had a good practice last night and thought we were going to come focused today," head coach Joe Legerski. "Bottom line is you need to make shots to win. I mentioned to the team that you need to move on from missing shots, step up and make the next basket. That was something that I thought Marquelle (Dent) did for us in the closing moments. She is really competitive, makes plays and wants to win. We just didn't get enough to help her out. The other thing I thought we didn't do is limit the offensive rebounds. There are a lot of little things that we have to clean up in order for us to win."
Forward Erimma Amarikwa finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Aztecs. Forward Khristina Hunter and McKynzie Fort each added ten points. San Diego State was 25-of-53 (.472) from the field and 2-of-9 (.222) from three. The Aztecs outrebounded Wyoming 38-27 and recorded 21 second chance points.
San Diego State extended the lead to six, 29-23, out of the halftime break. Jordan Sibrel scored a field goal which started a 12-2 run to regain a five-point lead, 35-31. An 8-0 run from the Aztecs pulled them back in front 39-35. Kaylie Rader hit a shot and Wyoming scored five of the next seven to pull to within one, 41-40. San Diego State started to pick it up on the boards and went on an 11-2 run to increase the lead to double-figures, 52-42. The Cowgirls continued to battle back and closed the gap to three, 57-54, with 20 seconds left in the game. Unfortunately, Wyoming would have a couple of looks down the stretch but fell short 57-54.
Woodward scored the first five points for Wyoming to begin the game giving the Cowgirls a 5-4 lead through the first media timeout. After free throws by UW, both teams went several minutes without scoring. A three-point field goal from Woodward would end a five-minute drought for the Cowgirls while Aleiah Brandon stopped the Aztecs scoreless stretch. Another basket from Johnson gave the lead back to San Diego State, 9-8. Each team would hit shots to take a tie score 11 into the media timeout. A free throw by Amarikwa started a 5-0 run for the Aztecs to give them a 16-11 advantage. Kelley hit a shot to stop another seven-minute scoreless stretch for the Cowgirls and was followed by two more baskets. The Aztecs scored the final seven of ten points including a shot at the buzzer to give San Diego State a 23-21 lead going into the locker room.
Woodward led all scorers with 11 points followed by Dent and Mileto with three. Kelley brought down a team-high seven rebounds. The Cowgirls shot 7-of-23 (.304) from the field and 5-of-15 (.333) from beyond the arc. Smith finished with six points followed by Amarikwa with five points and five rebounds. The Aztecs were 10-of-27 (.370) from the field.
The Cowgirls will return home on Saturday to host the league-leading Fresno State Bulldogs. The game is set for 2 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.