LARAMIE – Karla Erjavec drove the ball from the top of the arc and found Taylor Rusk on the wing with 1 minute, 46 seconds remaining in the first half.

Rusk pulled up from deep and made the 3-pointer to tie the game, 30-30.

It was Rusk’s sixth point of the game and her 1,002nd career point sporting a brown and gold uniform. She finished with a season-high 16 points behind a 7 of 10 shooting performance to help lead the University of Wyoming women’s basketball team to an 81-67 win over San Diego State on Wednesday night.

“Once the game started, I didn’t really think about it a whole lot,” Rusk said with a smirk. “But after that sixth point, there was a little bit of a relief and I could just play the game.”

UW opened the game moving the ball well in its motion offense and finding open shots. The team had four assists on six made baskets in the opening period.

San Diego State (8-13 overall, 3-6 Mountain West) flipped the script in the second quarter and began to find a rhythm. The Aztecs made seven consecutive shots throughout a five-minute stretch. Jaeden Vaifanua managed to get a shot to drop at the end of the first half to break a tie and give UW a 34-32 lead heading into the break.

Tereza Vitulova and the Cowgirls began to pull away in the third quarter. The sophomore forward was trading baskets with SDSU guard Sophia Ramos midway through the period but eventually helped the Cowgirls gain a comfortable lead – which they didn’t lose for the remainder of the game.

“(Vitulova) responded to the bell and there were a couple of times in the third quarter where I just told her to get where she wants (in the post),” first-year UW coach Gerald Mattinson said. “We ran two actions of motion and threw the ball into her and she was able to produce.”

Rusk wasn’t the only Cowgirl to have a career night. Vitulova also had a career night by scoring a career-high and game-high 30 points. Her previous career-high was 28 points, which came 15 days ago against the same opponent.

“We thought they were going to change the way they were defending me because of the last game, but they didn’t,” Vitulova said. “So, we just kept doing what we’re supposed to do and stuck with our game plan.”

It was the first 30-point performance from a Cowgirl since Marquelle Dent accomplished the feat on Jan. 2, 2016, against Nevada.

Alba Sanchez Ramos chipped in with 12 points and Quinn Weidemann added 10 for UW. Eight of the nine Cowgirls that saw the court scored a bucket. One thing UW has struggled with this season is showing up for the next game after a big win, but the Cowgirls will have a six days off to prepare before they travel to face Utah State on Wednesday.

WYOMING 81, SAN DIEGO ST. 67

San Diego State…… 11  21  15  20  –  67

Wyoming…… 19  15  22  25  –  81

San Diego State: Terry 1-2 0-0 3, Vanderdoes 0-2 0-0 0, Ramos 5-10 3-3 13, Adams 3-5 1-2 8, Kalmer 8-15 2-3 20, Villa 0-1 0-0 0, Hernandez 4-6 0-0 11, Perez 0-0 0-0 0, Dornstauder 4-6 2-6 10, Edwards 1-3 0-0 2, Ekwedike 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-51 8-14 67.

Wyoming: Vitulova 11-18 7-8 30, Rusk 7-10 0-0 16, Erjavec 1-2 0-0 3, Sanchez Ramo 4-10 2-4 12, Weidemann 2-8 5-6 10, Kepenc 0-0 0-0 0, Bradshaw 0-1 2-2 2, Vaifanua 2-4 2-2 6, Olson 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 28-56 18-22 81.

3-pointers: SDSU 7-15 (Terry 1-2, Vanderdoes 0-1, Ramos 0-2, Adams 1-1, Kalmer 2-3, Hernandez 3-4, Dornstauder 0-1, Edwards 0-1); UW 7-20 (Vitulova 1-4, Rusk 2-3, Erjavec 1-1, Sanchez Ramos 2-5, Weidemann 1-5, Vaifanua 0-1, Olson 0-1). Rebounds: SDUS 26 (Vanderdoes 5); UW 30 (Vitulova 7, Sanchez Ramos 7). Assists: SDSU 10 (Ramos 6); UW 11 (Rusk 3). Turnovers: SDSU 12 (Ramos 4); UW 6 (Four with 1). Blocked shots: SDSU 1 (Ramos); UW 2 (Sanchez Ramos 1, Vaifanua). Steals: SDSU 3 (Dornstauder 2); UW 6 (Weidemann 2). Turnovers: SDSU 12 (Ramos 4); UW 6 (Four with 1). Total fouls: SDSU 18, UW 11. Fouled out: SDSU 1 (Villa).

Attendance: 2,404.

Robert Munoz is an intern for WyoSports. He can be reached at sports@wyosports.net.

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