LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Despite four players in double-figures, the Wyoming basketball team (7-4 overall, 0-1 MW) lost its Mountain West opener 84-77, against the San Diego State Aztecs (6-6 overall, 1-0 MW) on Wednesday night in Laramie.
"With tonight's game, we got off to a great start the first five minutes of the game," UW head coach Joe Legerski said. "We made every shot we looked out, but you know in conference play that wouldn't continue and teams fight back. Over the next ten minutes, San Diego State made a tremendous run. They got into their transition offense which we knew was going to happen. More importantly during that time, we took some ill-advised shots during that time and when you do that you hope it goes in. We had problems with their on ball screens and their quickness showed. You have to give San Diego State a great deal of credit."
Marta Gomez led all scorers with 27 points plus four rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Natalie Baker recorded a double-double with a career-high 19 points and ten rebounds. Liv Roberts recorded 13 points followed by Marquelle Dent with ten points and 11 assists. Jordan Kelley also brought down ten boards. The Cowgirls shot 30-of-64 (.469) from the field and 10-of-26 (.385) from three.
San Diego State was led by McKynzie Fort with 21 points followed by Ahjalee Harvey with 19 points. Arielle Bostick brought down ten rebounds. The Aztecs shot 31-of-60 (.517) from the field and 18-of-25 (.720) from the charity stripe.
Wyoming closed the gap to two, 44-42, with a 9-4 run to begin the third quarter. The Aztecs responded by increasing the lead to nine, 60-51, to head into the final quarter. There wasn't a lot of scoring through the first several minutes until a small run gave San Diego State a 12-point lead 66-54 with 6:26 left in the game. The Cowgirls continued to battle and pulled to within two, 74-72, with under a minute to go. Unfortunately the Aztecs hit free throws down the stretch to sealedl the 84-77 victory.
Eight quick points from Gomez helped the Cowgirls build an 11-2 advantage. The teams combined for eight points as UW took a 15-6 advantage through the first media timeout. The Aztecs responded with 13 straight points to take a 19-15 lead to finish the first quarter. A three-point play by Gomez ended a seven minute scoreless stretch by Wyoming making it a one-point contest, 19-18. SDSU extended its advantage to double-digits, 35-24, with four minutes remaining in the half. Despite making a run towards the end of the half, UW went into the locker room down, 40-33.
Gomez led all scorers with 13 followed by Roberts with nine and Baker with seven. Kelley brought down eight rebounds. Wyoming shot 14-of-31 (.452) from the field and out rebounded the Aztecs, 20-15. Harvey and Fort finished the half with ten points with ten. Bostick added four rebounds. SDSU shot 17-of-33 (.515) from the field.
Wyoming will return to action on Saturday against the Nevada Wolf Pack. Tip time will be 2 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.