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The Cowgirl basketball team overcame a 19-point second half deficit and pulled to within one, but fell short in a tough 80-75 loss against Utah State, on Saturday night in Logan. Junior Kayla Woodward finished with a double-double including 18 second half points. The Cowgirls are now 13-6 overall on the season and 4-4 in the Mountain West while the Aggies improve to 10-10 overall and 4-5 in league play.

"I think that Utah State was the aggressor in the first half specifically in the first five to six minutes of the game." said head coach Joe Legerski. "I talked to the team at halftime about being balanced like we were in the victory against Fresno State, and in the first half Kayla and Kaylie combined for 24 of our 28 points. We had opportunities for other players, but really struggled to hit shots. We came back in the second half down 15 at the half and 19 in the second pulling to within one. We had two good looks at the basket with a three and a layup to go ahead. I was proud of what we accomplished in the second half and that was the team that has been showing up we just have to find a way to get over the hump."

Out of the break, Utah State scored two quick baskets to extend the lead to 19, 47-28. Started by a Woodward field goal, the Cowgirls went on a 10-2 run to close the gap to 11, 49-38, with 15:57 left in the game. Franny Vaaulu hit a shot to stop the UW scoring run, but the Wyoming ran off eight of the next ten to make it a seven-point contest, 53-46. Jasmine Porter got the Aggie lead back to ten, 56-46. The two teams traded the next couple of scores as Utah State continued to lead. With the score 60-50, the Cowgirls fought back with a 9-3 run to make it 63-59. The Aggies increased the lead back eight, 67-59, which was answered with seven straight to pull UW to within one, 67-66. Free throws put Utah State back up three, 69-66, but a quick basket from Rader made it one game, 69-68. The Cowgirls had several opportunities to tie or take the lead unfortunately free throws gave the Aggies an 80-75 win.

Woodward recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 27 points and 10 rebounds. She was followed byKaylie Rader with a career high 18 points plus seven rebounds, while Fallon Lewis finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Wyoming was 28-66 (.424) from the field including 17-36 (.472) in the second half. UW had 28 points in the paint and 24 points off the bench.

Utah State was led by Jennifer Schlott with 38 and six rebounds, while Stephanie Bairstow had 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Aggies were 27-60 (.450) from the field and 22-25 (.880) from the free throw line.

It was a tough start for the Cowgirls as they went 0-9 to start the game as Utah State built a 9-0 through the first media timeout. Wyoming would finally get on the board with a Rader field goal with 15 minutes left in the half. The Aggies responded with seven straight to go up 16, 18-2. UW pulled to within 11, 18-7, with a 5-0 run. Utah State increased the lead back to 16, 24-8, but Rader would score the next six points for the Cowgirls to pull them to within 12, 26-14. Over the next four minute stretch, the Aggies would extend the lead back to 16, 36-20. Five straight by the Cowgirls brought them to within 11, 36-25, unfortunately Utah State closed out the half on a 7-3 run to take a 43-28 lead in to the locker room.

Rader led all scorers for the Cowgirls with 15 along with six rebounds. Kayla Woodward followed with nine points and six rebounds while Fallon Lewis added three. Wyoming shot 11-30 (.367) from the field, 4-10 (.400) from the free throw line and 2-8 (.250) from the three. Jennifer Schlott recorded 21 points for the Aggies plus four steals, followed by Stephanie Bairstow with seven points and five rebounds. Utah State shot 18-35 (.514) from the field and out rebounded the Cowgirls 24-18.

Wyoming returns home next week for two straight games. They will host the New Mexico Lobos, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, and the UNLV Lady Rebels, on Saturday, Feb. 8.