Woodward nets 22, but Cowgirls fall to Fresno

From Wyoming Athletics

LAS VEGAS, Nev — The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team had their Reese’s Mountain West Tournament run ended with a 63-62 loss to the Fresno State Bulldogs Friday afternoon in Las Vegas.

“There were times tonight where this group showed their resiliency to keep fighting back, being down eight, ten points, even with four minutes to go,” said head coach Joe Legerski. “We talked about being down six and you need to believe. They came out and played at a very high level, gave themselves a chance. That’s all you can ask as a coach.”

A basket by Fresno State’s Ki-Ki Moore and free throws from Taylor Thompson got their lead to eight, 61-53, until Wyoming mounted one final comeback as they scored the next seven straight, including five from Chaudnra Sewell, to close it to one, 61-60, with 57 seconds to go.

After a missed layup by the Bulldogs, Sheridan native Kayla Woodward hit a jumper to put the Cowgirls ahead by one, 62-61, with 13 seconds on the clock. Out of a timeout, the junior Moore scored in the final seconds to lift Fresno State to the 63-62 win.

“Last night in the game against Colorado State, we made one play and had the ball bounce our way,” Legerski said. “Tonight you give credit to Fresno State. They made one more play and we just came up so very short.”

Woodward scored a game-high 22 points and had nine rebounds, while Sewell finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.

Two other players finished with eight points.

Wyoming shot 24-51 (.471) from the field and 10-12 (.833) from the free throw line.

They also out-rebounded the Bulldogs, 38-30.

Three players finished in double-figures for Fresno State (23-8 overall, 13-3 MW) led by Moore. She had 22 points and five rebounds. Taylor Thompson had 17 points and Bree Farley added 11. The Bulldogs were 24-64 (.375) from the field and 11-14 (.786) from the free throw line.

UW scored the five points at the end of the first half to put them up by three, 31-28. Fresno State closed out the half on a 6-0 run to take a 34-31 lead into the locker room.

Wyoming started off the second half with a 3-point play by Woodward to tie the score at 34 all.

Over the next stretch, the two teams traded scores until a 3-point field goal by Farley gave Fresno State a 41-38 lead with 15:41 remaining in the game.

The Cowgirls ran off the next four of five to even things up at 42 all, which was answered with five unanswered by the Bulldogs putting them ahead 47-42 with 12:27 left in the game. A Woodward layup and two free throws by Chelan Landry ended a three minute scoreless stretch for UW making it a one-point contest, 47-46. Started by a Moore basket, Fresno State went on another 9-0 run to give them a 55-46 advantage with 8:15 remaining. The Cowgirls continued to battle and a 7-2 run cut into the lead 57-53 right before the final run by Fresno.

“Very close, but it comes down to a number of execution plays and that you have to make sure that each and every one makes a difference, whether it’s in the first minute of the game or the last minute of the game,” Legerski added.

“But I’m very proud of this team, what they’ve been able to accomplish, and how they continue to battle throughout a 40 minute basketball game.”

The Cowgirls (24-7 overall, 12-4 MW) will wait until next week to hear about their possibilities for postseason play.

The selection show for the women is Monday.

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