LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming women’s basketball team played arguably its worst half of basketball Saturday.
And still the Cowgirls found themselves tied with Utah State after three quarters.
But another offensive dry spell – this one over the first six minutes of the fourth quarter – was too much to overcome.
The Aggies walked away with a 50-42 win at the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah.
UW was scoreless for the first 6 minutes, 15 seconds of the final frame, and outscored 16-8 in the fourth
The 42 points were a season low for the Cowgirls, as was the 32.7 percent shooting (16 of 49) from the field.
UW, the leading 3-point shooting team in the nation coming into the game at 43 percent, made just 4 of 21 trey attempts (19 percent)
“One of the things I walk away from, is we probably took three or four bad shots (on 3-pointers) and the others were good shots,” Cowgirls coach Joe Legerski said. “We had good shots all day from everyone. That was the frustrating part for the coaching staff and the players.
“You’re getting good looks and you think, ‘Maybe this is the shot that gets us going.’ We were just never in sync.”
The Cowgirls (9-4 overall, 2-2 Mountain West) shot 31 percent in the first half – and an even-worse 11 percent on 3-pointers – to trail Utah State 22-17 at the break.
UW’s only signs of life offensively came in the third quarter when it went 6 of 12 from the field to tie the game 34-34 heading into the final 10 minutes.
But on their first 10 possessions of the fourth quarter, the Cowgirls went 0 of 9 from the field (0 of 5 on 3-pointers) and turned the ball over once.
Amazingly, when UW freshman Quinn Weidemann scored on a layup with 3:45 to play, the Cowgirls trailed just 40-36. UW wouldn’t score again until there were 40 seconds remaining.
Freshman Karla Erjavec led UW in scoring for the second consecutive game with 14 points to go with four assists, but also had six turnovers as UW turned the ball over 17 times.
Senior Marta Gomez was 3 of 5 on 3-pointers to add 11 points and was the only other Cowgirl to score in double figures. The rest of the team combined for just 27 points.
Weidemann, who came into the game leading the nation in 3-point shooting, was 0 of 6 behind the arc, and senior Bailee Cotton was 2 of 9 shooting for five points. Cotton had 11 rebounds to lead the team, the fifth time this season Cotton has had double-digit rebounds.
Utah State (8-7, 3-1) junior Shannon Dufficy led all scorers with 24 points and had 14 rebounds in the win.
Fellow junior Hailey Bassett-Meachem scored 11 points.
“You’re never as good as people want to believe and you’re never as bad as people believe,” Legerski said. “That’s what’s happened over the last two weeks. And it’s easier to play at home.
“You have to be sharper and value each possession a little more on the road. That’s where this team is trying to grow.”
UW is off Wednesday before returning to the court with a home game Saturday against New Mexico.