Cowgirls-Cotton (copy)

University of Wyoming senior forward Bailee Cotton drives around South Alabama sophomore center/forward Antoinette Lewis Sunday during a second-round game in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at the Arena-Auditorium in 2019.

BOISE, Idaho – The University of Wyoming Cowgirls’ comeback came up short Wednesday afternoon on the road at Boise State as the Broncos topped the Cowgirls, 68-62. Boise State (8-1, 5-1 MW) ended the game on a 12-5 run the final 2:36 of the game after Wyoming (4-5, 2-4 MW) took a 57-56 lead with 3:45 left to play off of an Alba Sanchez Ramos 3-pointer.

Sanchez Ramos led the Cowgirls with 17 points in the loss. She went 7 of 12 from the floor while hitting a pair of 3-pointers, grabbing six rebounds and dishing-out two assists. McKinley Bradshaw provided another spark of the bench in the series for UW as she scored 14 points on 5 for 8 and 2 for 2 from 3-point range and also pulled down six boards. Dagny Davidsdottir chipped in with 12 points to go along with six boards and a steal.

Wyoming shot 35.5% (22-62) overall and went 7 for 19 (36.8%) from 3-point range while the Broncos went 24 for 53 (45.3%) from the field and hit 3 of 11 (27.3%) from beyond the arc. Boise, who went to the free-throw line a lot late, went 17 for 21 at the stripe while the Cowgirls were 11 of 14.

After a big disadvantage on the glass Monday, the Cowgirls outrebounded BSU Wednesday, 35-34, and grabbed 10 offensive rebounds, leading to 14 second-chance points, while Boise got six points off second chances. Wyoming also had a 28-22 edge in points in the paint.

“We had some shots that didn’t go in and to their credit, they made some plays and ran some sets that got them a couple baskets,” said head coach Gerald Mattinson.

“I’m really happy with what we did and the way we played on the offensive end. We had a lot of good, open looks, we left some points on the table.”

Wyoming got off to a better start in Wednesday’s loss than in the prior contest with the Broncos, leading 14-10 after one quarter. In the second quarter, however, the Broncos shot 55% and outscored the Cowgirls 22-12 in the frame and took a 32-26 lead into halftime.

In the second half, BSU opened with a 3-pointer to go up 35-28 before the Cowgirls went on a quick 9-1 run to cut the deficit to 36-35 with 6:43 left to play after a Tommi Olson bucket in the paint. UW would eventually take its first lead of the half with 4:12 to go, 41-40, off a layup by Bradshaw. The Broncos would get a pair of free throws to end the third and led 46-44 to go into the final 10 minutes with the lead.

The Cowgirls would keep much of the fourth quarter within a bucket or two but took its only lead in the frame off the Sanchez Ramos 3-pointer. Jade Loville gave Boise State the lead back with a pair at the free-throw line with 2:36 left to play and was the first of 10 made free throws for the Broncos down the stretch to help them keep the lead. Trailing 58-57, Wyoming turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions down the stretch and enabled Boise State to lengthen the lead to 62-57 with 30 seconds left to play. Sanchez Ramos was able to get a couple of buckets in the waning seconds, but Boise kept the Cowgirls at arms’ length with free throws.

“I love our kids’ heart, we fought until the very end. Boise State is first in the conference, they defended home court, but I think they know that they were in a battle until the very end again. I’m not happy with the loss don’t get me wrong, but I told them ‘we got to let this one go and get ready for Air Force tomorrow,’” Mattinson said.

Wyoming will have a quick turnaround as it continues its stretch of four games in eight days as the Cowgirls get set to host Air Force on Jan. 16 and 18 at the AA. Saturday’s game is set for a 2 p.m. tip while Monday’s contest will be at 6:30 p.m.

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