Makenzie Ellis scored 22 points to lead the Colorado State Rams to a 56-49 victory over the Wyoming Cowgirls in Laramie on Saturday.

Ellis scored 18 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter, as the Rams handed the Cowgirls their first loss in Mountain West Conference play.

Meanwhile, Wyoming couldn’t get anything going on offense. The Cowgirls struggled and shot 6-25 or 24 percent from the floor in the second half.

That was the topic of discussion in the post-game press conferences. Taylor Rusk and Tereza Vitulova talked to the media after the game.

Cowgirls’ head coach Gerald Mattinson knew their inability to score was the difference.

“Once again, I would tell you we played well enough defensively to win. Obviously, we gave up some free throws and stuff at the end, but when you basically late into the fourth quarter and you’re holding a team into the 40s, you have to find a way to score more than 40 yourself.”

A close first half featured eight lead changes and the game was tied five times. A basket by Tori Williams with three seconds left gave Colorado State a 29-28 lead at the break.

UW battled back and took a 42-41 on a Tereza Vitulova layup with 6:14 left. After a pair of Vitulova free throws made it 44-43 with 5:38 remaining, the Cowgirls endured a five-minute scoring drought.

Ellis went to work and scored the Rams’ next nine points, which put the game away. Colorado State extended its lead to 54-44 with 28 seconds left before the final margin.

Wyoming (7-6, 3-1) was led by Vitulova with 16 points. Taylor Rusk added 10 points and nine rebounds. For the game, UW shot only 35.6 percent. They went 16-45 from the field. The Cowgirls were 6-15 from deep, 40 percent. They also had 15 turnovers.

Colorado State (8-6, 2-2) shot 42 percent from the floor. Williams added 14 points. The Rams went 9-11 (82%) at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

UW goes back on the road for their next two games. First up is a trip to San Diego State to face the Aztecs. That game starts at 7:30 p.m., Mountain Time, on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Wyoming Cowboys

The Wyoming Cowboys remain winless in the Mountain West after a 72-61 loss at Colorado State Saturday in Fort Collins.

Hunter Maldonado scored 25 points but shot just 38 percent for the game.

A 14-3 run late in the first half helped the Rams to a 32-19 lead at halftime. An early 9-0 run by Colorado State in the second half extended their advantage to 41-21.

The Cowboys got no closer than 13 points the rest of the game. They fall to 5-11 on the season and 0-4 in the MW.

The Rams shot 51 percent from the field. David Roddy led CSU with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

The Pokes come home to Laramie for their next two games. First is a meeting with No. 13 San Diego State. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

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