Cowgirls Fall Short to Aztecs 57-51
The Wyoming Cowgirls hung tough all game long, but didn’t have enough to overcome the potent 1-2 punch of Courtney Clements and Chelsea Hopkins of San Diego State in a 57-51 loss Wednesday night at the Arena-Auditorium. The league-leading Aztecs took the lead for good with an 11-3 run at the start of the second half and held off any Cowgirl challenge. Clements and Hopkins combined for 41 of SDSU’s 57 points.
San Diego State (20-5, 11-1) built an 8-point lead at the 14:32 mark and saw Wyoming make several pushes, but the Aztecs came through with key shots or key defensive stops. The Cowgirls pulled within two, at 48-46, on a pair of Chelan Landry free throws, but a Clements basket in the paint put them ahead 50-46 and the rally fell short. SDSU hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final 27 seconds to preserve their 11 straight victory.
Cowgirl head coach Joe Legerski said, “I asked the team tonight, let’s make sure we give ourselves a chance in the last four minutes. I thought the effort they gave just makes you proud. How they went out to compete for 40 minutes.”
Wyoming (19-6, 8-4) went over six minutes of the second half without a point down the stretch, but still held the Aztecs to only three points during the same time frame, which gave UW a chance.
Kaitlyn Mileto said, “What we talked about all game from the start was just being there, right there, every four minutes. The position we were in the last four minutes is really where we wanted to be, and we just came up a little short.”
The Cowgirls were led by Chaundra Sewell, who had 21 points and 7 rebounds. Mileto was the only other player in double figures with 11 points. UW shot 19-54 (35.2%) from the field, 3-12 (25%) from deep and 10-13 (76.9%) at the line. The were out-rebounded 40-37 by the Aztecs.
San Diego State was led by Clements with 22 points, while Hopkins added 19 points and 11 rebounds. They went 20-55 (36.4%) on field goals, 4-11 (36.4%) from beyond the arc and 13-21 (61.9%) at the charity stripe.
The first half was a game of runs and droughts. The Cowgirls got off to a hot start, as they made their first five shots and jumped to an 11-2 lead. Then they went more than six minutes without scoring, and San Diego State took advantage and surged in front 19-16. The Aztecs had their own drought of seven-and-a-half minutes. UW capitalized with an 11-1 run that led to a 27-25 lead at halftime.
Sewell said of the early start, “I think we just came out with a lot of energy and pumped up. I don’t think they changed anything defensively, but you can’t shoot like we did the first four minutes for an entire 40 minutes.”
Wyoming hits the road for their next game at UNLV Saturday afternoon. You can listen to Cowgirl basketball on KOWB. Coverage will begin after the conclusion of Laramie High School basketball on AM 1290 around 4 p.m.