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Cowgirls struggle in loss to Boise State

Wyoming Cowgirl Emily Mellema puts up a shot in traffic in her team's 14-point loss to Boise State. (via University of Wyoming Athletics)

BOISE, Ida. — The Wyoming Cowgirls were saddled with their third loss in conference play on Saturday, as offensive woes hampered the team in a 56–42 defeat at the hands of Boise State. The 42 points are a season low for the squad.

After taking an early lead, Wyoming fell into a defensive battle with the Broncos, and the two teams played like there was a lid on both baskets. Midway through the opening quarter, Boise State held a slim 7–5 edge.

Marta Savic had a strong outing offensively in the first, but Boise State drained a barrage of 3-pointers and took a 20–12 lead into the second quarter.

Things continued to go in Boise State’s favor in the second quarter, as the Cowgirls struggled to find any sort of rhythm offensively. Not only were Cowgirl shots missing the mark, but the team struggled to even end possessions with shots; Wyoming committed nine turnovers in the first half, leading to several fast break points from Boise State.

The Broncos led by as many as 13 at one point in the second quarter and led 34–25 entering the halftime break. Boise State also shot a blisteringly hot 48% from the floor in the first half.

The third quarter didn’t go any better for the Cowgirls as Boise State came out of the gates still in control. Early in the period, UW found itself trailing by 15, the largest deficit to that point. Wyoming trimmed the deficit down to nine roughly halfway through the quarter, thanks to some scoring from Savic and Tess Barnes, but couldn’t get it any closer. The Cowgirls only managed eight points in the quarter, and the score was 46–33 in favor of the Broncos after three quarters of play.

Malene Pedersen was a bright spot for Wyoming, scoring a game-high 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting with two 3-pointers. Off the bench, Savic led Cowgirl reserves with 10 points.

Outside of the pair of shooters, though, the team struggled mightily. Allyson Fertig — the team’s leading scorer and one of the best post players in the Mountain West Conference — was held without a field goal, and only scored two points that came from free throws. Barnes, third on the team in scoring, only managed two field goals and five points.

The Cowgirls shot just 33% and made barely 30% from 3-point range, finishing with four baskets from beyond the arc.

UW is off for a week and will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 17, when they make the trip to Colorado State for a Border War round two against their arch-rival Rams.