A slow start led to an early double-figure deficit that was too much to overcome for the Wyoming Cowgirls in a 67-45 loss at Arizona Sunday.

The defeat in the quarterfinal round of the WNIT brought about an end to the Cowgirls’ season with a 25-9 record.

Wyoming head coach Joe Legerski, in a release from the University of Wyoming, highlighted the positive play the Cowgirls had throughout the year.

"It's always difficult to end the season. Sometimes you have to reflect on what happened throughout the year. I know there's a number of disappointed players in that locker room. The biggest thing they have to remember is the journey we all went on to go 25-9. This team ends up with the second most wins in the 45 years of Cowgirl basketball."

Arizona (22-13) scored the first 11 points of the game and never trailed. Aari McDonald scored a game-high 25 points with six rebounds and four assists. Cate Reese added 13 points and nine rebounds.

The Cowgirls were led by Sladjana Rakovic with 12 points and seven rebounds. Bailee Cotton added 10 points and six boards.

Wyoming didn’t score until a Karla Erjavec jumper 4:10 into the game. That made it 11-2 Wildcats. UW trailed 19-10 at the end of the first quarter. A Rakovic lay-up got the Cowgirls within 19-12 at the start of the second, but Arizona answered with a 7-0 burst. That made it 26-12. Both teams struggled after that, as the Wildcats held a 26-15 lead at halftime.

Arizona began the second half with an 11-2 run and opened up a 37-17 lead. A 10-0 run by the Cowgirls brought them within 37-27, but that’s as close as they got. The Wildcats led 42-29 after the third, and their lead reached 26 points in the fourth.

Wyoming shot 31 percent for the game. They made only 22 percent in the first half but improved to 42 percent in the second half. The Cowgirls were only 2-12 (17%) from 3-point range. They finished with nine assists compared to 11 turnovers.

Arizona shot 47 percent from the field, which included 56 percent in the second half. The Wildcats had a 36-29 edge on the glass and finished with 17 assists to 12 turnovers. Arizona scored 17 points off UW turnovers and had 15 fast-break points.

This was just the second quarterfinal appearance for the Cowgirls in the WNIT.

Their 25 wins ties the second-most in program history. They also kept up the streak of 20-plus wins for a third straight season. The 13 conference wins tied the top mark in the program. Wyoming also played in its first-ever Mountain West Championship game.

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