Cowgirls Come Up Short at Boise State

photo courtesy of @wyo_wbb on Twitter

by staff–12 Jan ’21

Boise State went on a 14-2 run over a span of 3:15 in the fourth quarter to break a 46-46 tie and take control of the game late against the Wyoming Cowgirls, as Wyoming fell to the Broncos, 68-61.

The Cowgirls (4-4, 2-3 MW) got a career-high performance from McKinley Bradshaw as she poured in 27 points off the bench in the loss. It is the first 20-plus performance for a Cowgirl off the bench since Jaeden Vaifanua scored 20 against San Jose State in February of last season. Bradshaw was on fire from the floor, going 10-of-12 overall and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Bradshaw also added four boards and a team-high three steals on the day.

Wyoming shot better from the floor than the Broncos (7-1, 4-1 MW), going 25-for-51 (49 percent) while Boise State shot 25-for-59 (42.4 percent) but doubled up the Cowgirls on the offensive boards, 14-7 and had 15 second-chance points to just two for UW. The Broncos also had a 20-15 edge in points off turnovers as the Cowgirls committed a season-high 16 turnovers in the loss.

“We made a couple of key turnovers there late,” said Head Coach Gerald Mattinson.

“Their pressure all day long got to us and we tried to make some plays that aren’t us. We battled all day, but just couldn’t get over the hump it seemed like for most of the game.”

The Cowgirls shot just 5-of-16 (31 percent) from 3-point range while Boise was 8-of-19 (42 percent). UW also struggled at the free-throw line, going just 6-of-14 to shoot 43 percent. BSU went 10-of-16 (63 percent) at the stripe.

Bradshaw’s 27 points are tied for the most scored by a Cowgirl this season as Alba Sanchez Ramos scored 27 one week ago against Fresno State. Bradshaw was the only Cowgirl in double figures in the loss. Dagny Davidsdottir scored eight points on 4-for-8 shooting and also grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.

The Cowgirls tied a season-low with eight assists Monday and were led in that department by Tommi Olson’s five. Olson also added five rebounds in the loss. Sanchez Ramos and Quinn Weidemann each scored six points.

“We’ll go back and look at the tape. It’s going to come down to who responds on Wednesday and at what level. McKinley played really, really well today and what I like most, she did it efficiently, she scored that many on just 12 shots. I thought Grace (Ellis) played really well defensively and so did Ola (Ustowska) and Marta (Savic). One of our goals is to play hard every game and I thought all the girls played hard today,” continued Mattinson.

Boise State got off to a good start Monday, jumping out to an early 12-4 lead halfway through the first quarter. But the Cowgirls would respond the final five minutes of the quarter, thanks in large part to Bradshaw, who scored UW’s final eight points in the frame and the Cowgirls trailed by just three, 18-15 after one.

In the second, the Broncos would lead by as many as nine points on multiple occasions but the Cowgirls kept them within striking distance heading into halftime, trailing 32-27. In the third, UW would get to within a basket, 36-34 with 6:43 to play thanks to five straight from Jaye Johnson. Johnson’s banked in 3-pointer to cut the deficit to just two, was the only 3-pointer not made by Bradshaw. BSU would lengthen its lead back up to nine, 46-37 before back-to-back layups from Bradshaw and Davidsdottir cut the Broncos’ lead to 46-41 heading into the final quarter.

In the fourth, the Cowgirls would tie the game at 46-46 with 7:35 remaining thanks to a 3-pointer from Bradshaw and a in the paint jumper by Ustwoska, however, Wyoming would not be able to push in front as the Broncos would score the next seven points to begin their big run late. UW would get as close as six, 61-55 with 1:56 to play but a 3-pointer out of a timeout by Anna Ostlie with 1:37 to play pushed the lead back to nine and from there, the Broncos would make four free-throws to ice the game.

The two teams will meet once again to close the two-game series at 2 p.m., Wednesday afternoon.