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UW vs. San Diego State Women's Basketball

Wyoming’s Bailee Cotton grabs a rebound away from San Diego State’s Lexy Thorderson during their game on Feb. 1, 2017, at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

Alan Rogers, Star-Tribune

LARAMIE — Considering the extent to which the Wyoming women's basketball team dominated Wednesday night's game against San Diego State, it's hard to believe the Aztecs defeated Wyoming less than two months ago.

As a matter of fact, it's hard to believe San Diego State actually led early in Wednesday's game. 

The Aztecs took an early eight-point lead against the Cowgirls at the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming calmly responded with a 20-0 run. The Cowgirls never trailed again, leading by as many as 27 and winning 70-50.

"Sometimes I don't even really realize," Wyoming senior Liv Roberts said of that run. "We're just getting in a flow, and it's just more fun than anything. Sometimes I forget to look at the score."

The Cowgirls scored 65 of the game's next 95 points after San Diego State established its early lead.

Wyoming has now won three straight games. The Cowgirls’ 70 points were their most in a conference game this season, topping the 69 they scored Saturday in a win over UNLV. They hit 13-of-27 3-pointers Wednesday.

Wyoming's Dec. 28 loss at San Diego State was the Cowgirls' first conference game.

"There's no doubt, always playing at home helps," Wyoming head coach Joe Legerski said. "You shoot the ball better at home. The crowd, we feed off of, and we're able to transition a little better.

"I thought out at San Diego, they made all the right choices in the last 5 minutes, and we couldn't get it stopped. They were very good offensively. They were very good defensively. So tonight, I thought that having the cushion going down the stretch really helped with the confidence."

Said Taylor Rusk: "I think we were just more mentally ready. We came back from (winter) break the first time. It was our first game. We were just mentally prepared, and we knew what we had to do, and we executed our game plan."

Roberts led all scorers with 18 points, and Bailee Cotton had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Cowgirls actually got off to a cold start, missing their first two 3-pointers and shooting a few air balls as they fell behind.

"I thought we started out the 5 five minutes and thought we could just throw the ball at the basket and it was going to go in," Legerski said. "And what we talked about after that first 5-minute segment is, 'You have to get set. You have to have your focus. You have to understand what you're trying to accomplish here.'"

The Cowgirls did that, sinking six of their next eight 3-point attempts after the first two misses. Wyoming, which hit 12-of-15 3s before halftime against UNLV, shot 9-of-17 from 3-point range in the first half Wednesday.

The Aztecs missed eight straight shots during their dry spell, going 6:44 without a point and more than 7 minutes without a field goal.

Wyoming outscored San Diego State in every quarter, posting identical 19-13 tallies in the first two. Clara Tapia ended the first half with a running bank-shot 3-pointer. 

A 13-5 run gave Wyoming its largest lead, before the Aztecs scored the game’s final seven points. Wyoming’s last 70-point game was a 70-64 win Dec. 9 at Idaho.

Rusk added 17 points for Wyoming on 5-of-8 3-point shooting. The sophomore matched her point total from the previous three games combined. Since hitting a career-high six 3s at Utah State last month, she had made just three total 3-pointers in her last six games.

Tijana Raca scored a season-high nine points for Wyoming; she had scored 11 all season before Wednesday. McKynzie Fort led San Diego State with 17 points.

The Cowgirls had moved back into first place with their win against the Rebels, a position they had lost with their first losing streak of conference play. Wyoming (17-7 overall, 10-3 Mountain West) plays Saturday at San Jose State.

Follow University of Wyoming athletics reporter Brandon Foster on Twitter @BFoster91


College Sports Reporter

Brandon Foster reports on University of Wyoming athletics. He joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and covering Mizzou athletics for two years. A St. Louis native, he lives in Laramie.

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