Wyoming’s women’s basketball team had a chance for a runner-up finish in the Mountain West on Thursday, but the Cowgirls will have to settle for third place.
Wyoming fell at New Mexico 57-50 in its regular-season finale. The Cowgirls began the night tied with UNM for second place in the league standings before ending it with just their second loss in their last 13 games.
The Cowgirls will be the No. 3 seed in the MW tournament, which starts Sunday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Wyoming has a first-round bye before opening tournament play Monday night against an opponent to be determined from Sunday’s games.
Taylor Rusk and Sladjana Rakovic each scored 10 points to lead Wyoming, but the Cowgirls couldn’t generate enough consistent offense to seriously threaten the idea of a season split with the Lobos, who also beat Wyoming in the teams’ first meeting back on Jan. 19.
Wyoming trailed 25-20 at halftime, 43-38 after the third quarter and again cut UNM’s lead to five on a layup from Rakovic with 58 seconds left in the game. But that ended up being the last field goal for Wyoming, which shot 31.7 percent from the field and just 10.5 percent (2 of 19) from 3-point range.
Jaisa Nunn shot 11 of 13 from the field to score a game-high 26 points for UNM. Nunn also grabbed 13 rebounds for the Lobos, who shot 46 percent from the floor.