* University of Wyoming press release

SAN DIEGO, Calif., – The Wyoming Cowgirls led for over 36 minutes Wednesday night and San Diego State didn’t take its first lead of the game until there was 3:12 left to play, but the Aztecs closed the final seven minutes of the contest on a 19-5 run to turn a double-digit deficit into a 58-55 loss for the Cowgirls.

Wyoming closes the regular season 16-13 overall and 11-7 in the Mountain West.

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It was a strong first half for the Cowgirls Tuesday, as they led by as many as 11 points in the game’s first 20 minutes. Wyoming was up by double digits multiple times in the second quarter before San Diego State ended the frame with a 3-pointer, as UW led 25-18 at the half. The Cowgirls shot 50-percent from the floor in the first half and held the Aztecs to 27.6-percent. Turnovers, though, proved costly to the Cowgirls in the opening half, as they committed 11 first half turnovers, leading to nine fewer shots from the field than SDSU.

San Diego State came out firing to open the third quarter, hitting its first three shots and cutting the Wyoming lead down to just two. From there, the Cowgirls would respond and push the lead back up to nine. UW held a 40-31 lead at the media timeout. The rest of the frame was a virtual stalemate, as Wyoming led 43-33 after three.

The two teams opened the fourth by trading points back-and-forth before Malene Pedersen’s second 3-pointer of the game pushed the Cowgirls in front, 50-39 with 6:58 remaining as Wyoming called a timeout. Following the timeout, the Aztecs responded as UW foul troubles and turnovers started popping up.

The Wyoming lead was down to just five at the media timeout. After the timeout, the San Diego State run continued, as it took its first lead of the game with 3:12 left to play, 51-50.

The Cowgirl drought continued the rest of the game, as the Aztecs led 54-50 with 1:15 left and called a timeout. The Cowgirls trailed 54-52 with 32.4 seconds left and had the ball but turned the ball over again, leading to an SDSU free throw. UW’s 3-pointer missed on the next possession and led to two more at the line from the Aztecs. A Cowgirl 3-pointer cut it to just two with .2 left before a final San Diego State freebie.

Wyoming committed seven turnovers in the game’s final seven minutes and went over six minutes without scoring during SDSU’s big stretch. The Cowgirls shot 5-of-14 in the fourth while San Diego State hit 5-of-9 shots but made 15 fourth quarter free throws.

Allyson Fertig recorded her third consecutive double-double, finishing the night with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting. Fertig also had a pair of blocks in the loss. Pedersen was the other Cowgirl in double figures as she scored 12. Ola Ustowska had a game-high six assists on the night.

UW shot 49-percent from the floor and held the Aztecs to under 36-percent. Both teams made four 3-pointers on the night, but SDSU made 11 more free throws than the Cowgirls. Wyoming committed a season-high 20 turnovers, resulting in six fewer shots than the Aztecs. The Cowgirls didn’t hold a 15-14 edge in points off turnovers despite the 20 miscues. Wyoming had a 38-28 advantage in points in the paint while SDSU outscored Wyoming 10-5 in second-chance points.

Despite the loss, the Cowgirls will still be the No. 3 seed at next week’s Mountain West Basketball Championship in Las Vegas.

POKES: The Seven Best Games In The History Of The Wyoming-CSU Border War Rivalry (Naturally, they were all Wyoming wins)