FRESNO, Calif. -
The Wyoming basketball team (12-12 overall, 5-9 MW) relinquished a 16-point first quarter lead on Wednesday to come up short by the final of 64-52 against the Fresno State Bulldogs (15-9 overall, 11-2 MW).
“We started off the game extremely well and took advantage of our opportunities,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said. “Towards the end of second quarter and the beginning of the third we got away from what we did in the first four minutes of the game. First getting the best shot we could then turning the ball over 17 times which are things that take chances away from you. We also talked about when you draw a bigger play inside, you need to pass the ball and not try and shoot over her. It’s about being disciplined, keeping an edge and focus and learning as a group.”
Freshman Marta Gomez led the way with a team-high 17 points while shooting 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Senior Marquelle Dent recorded 13 points and seven assists followed by sophomore Natalie Baker with nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Wyoming shot 18-of-49 (.367) from the field, 7-of-23 (.304) in the second half while committing 17 team turnovers.
Fresno State was led by senior Toni Smith with a game-high 21 points in 32 minutes of action. Senior Shauqunna Collins added 16 points off the bench while sophomore Bego Faz Davalos chipped in ten points and three blocked shots. The Bulldogs were 26-of-53 (.491) from the field for the game including 16-of-26 (.615) in the third and fourth quarters.
Out of the break, the Bulldogs rattled of seven straight points to pull even at 31 all. The Cowgirls responded by regaining a 38-31 lead but wouldn’t score the rest of the quarter shooting 2-of-10 (.200) from the field. Fresno State went on a 16-0 run to take what was at the time its largest lead of the game, 47-38 with 8:26 left in the fourth. Wyoming tried to battle back with eight unanswered to close the gap to two, 47-45. Unfortunately, the Cowgirls were only able to score five points the remainder of the way as the Bulldogs sealed the 64-52 victory.
The Cowgirls got it going early with a 20-4 run to begin the game. A basket plus two free throws by Fresno State ended a scoreless stretch for the Bulldogs making it 20-8 after the first ten minutes. Ligocki hit a jumper to stop the scoring drought by UW at the start of the second quarter. Fresno State cut into the deficit with a 14-4 lead to make it a four-point contest, 26-22. A big three by Gomez ended the run and the Cowgirls scored five of the final seven points to take a 31-24 advantage into the locker room.
Gomez led the way for the Cowgirls with 11 points shooting 3-of-4 (.750) from beyond the arc. Baker chipped in seven points and 11 boards while junior Hailey Ligocki added six points. Wyoming was 11-of-25 (.440) from the field, 5-of-12 (.417) from three, but committed ten turnovers. Fresno State was led by Smith with ten points while Faz Davalos added four points. The Bulldogs shot 10-of-27 (.370) from the field and 2-of-10 (.200) from three.
Wyoming returns home to the friendly confines of the Arena-Auditorium on Saturday as it hosts the league-leading Colorado State Rams. Game is set for a 2 p.m. MT tip.