LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Senior Kaitlyn Mileto's season-high 27 points and a double-double by junior guard Jordan Kelley led the Wyoming women's basketball team (11-11 overall, 6-6 MW) to an eight-point win, 74-66, victory over the San Diego State Aztecs (9-13, 6-5 MW) on Wednesday night in Laramie.
Mileto shot 7-of-14 from beyond the arc and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe on the way to her season-high. The seven three-point field goals ties a career-high for the senior. Kelley recorded her fifth double-double of her career with 14 points and a career-high 15 boards. Junior guard Marquelle Dent added 21 points, six steals and five assists. Wyoming shot 24-of-56 (.429) from the field and 17-of-22 (.773) from the free throw line. The Cowgirls outrebounded San Diego State 36-34 and finished with 17 points off turnovers.
"I think when you look at the numbers, we shoot 43 percent they shoot 43 percent. Rebounding was almost even, we have nine second chance points, they have eight, it really determined that the game was going to come down to the last few minutes." head coach Joe Legerski said. "The run from the eight minute mark to the four minute mark gave us the cushion. We pushed the basketball, Marquelle was making great decisions and went over the top to Kaylie Rader to get some easy baskets. Jordan Kelley's effort may be one of the best that I've had an opportunity to coach. A double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, she is undersized and I had to play her 40 minutes. We were tired at the end and San Diego State's quickness is tremendous. So trying to get the basketball in when playing for 38 minutes that's asking a lot of everybody. We still defended, got to the free throw line and made those free throws."
Freshman guard McKynzie Fort had a team-high 17 points along with four rebounds to lead the way for the Aztecs. Senior forward Erimma Amarikwa followed with 13 points and a team-high six boards. San Diego State shot 26-of-60 (.433) from the field and 8-of-9 (.889) from the charity stripe. The Aztecs had 28 points in the paint and 23 off the bench.
It was slow going out of the halftime break for both teams as the Cowgirls took a four-point lead, 35-31. The Aztecs responded with seven of the next nine points to take their first lead of the game 38-37 with 16:03 on the clock. Wyoming answered with five straight to regain a 42-38 advantage. Ariell Bostic hit a three which started a 7-3 run for San Diego State to even up the score at 45 all. Two baskets by Amarikwa gave the Aztecs the lead back, 49-45. Out of a timeout, the Cowgirls scored six straight including four points by Rader to regain a 51-49 lead. With the Aztecs up 53-51, a basket by Dent jump started a 17-4 run to give Wyoming a double-digit lead, 68-57. A three-point play by Fort followed by a Culberson three made it a 68-63 game with 1:52 left on the clock. The Aztecs had several opportunities to pull closer but turnovers and a couple of missed jumpers allowed Wyoming to maintain the lead. Six straight free throws in the final minutes helped the Cowgirls hold on to the 74-66 victory.
A free throw followed by two Mileto three-point field goals gave the Cowgirls an early 7-0 lead which forced a timeout by San Diego State. Free throws by Fort with 16:43 on the clock got the Aztecs in the scoring column. Dent hit a basket to extend the lead to 9-2, but SDSU scored the next seven unanswered to pull even at nine. Another three by Mileto ended an almost four minute scoring drought by the Cowgirls to put them up 12-9. That basket started an 8-2 run to give UW a 17-11 advantage. Three straight field goals by San Diego State would tie up the score again at 17 all. Kelley scored a layup which began an 8-0 run by the Cowgirls putting the lead back to eight, 25-17. Chloe Johnson ended a five minute scoring drought by the Aztecs. San Diego State would outscore Wyoming 10-5 the remainder of the half, but the Cowgirls still took a 30-29 lead into the locker room.
Mileto led all scorers with 14 points shooting 4-6 from beyond the arc. Dent followed with 12 points while Kelly had a team-high ten rebounds. Wyoming shot 11-of-30 (.367) from the field, 4-of-13 (.308) from the three and outrebounded the Aztecs, 23-13. San Diego State was led by Fort with six points while Aleiah Brandon added five points off the bench. SDSU was 10-of-27 (.370) from the field and 6-of-6 (1.00) from the free throw line.
Wyoming will close out the week on Saturday against the San Jose State Spartans. The game is set for 3 p.m. Mountain Time in California.