The Wyoming Cowgirls (15-7, 6-4) continued to reign supreme over their kingdom, otherwise known as the Arena-Auditorium, on Wednesday evening by defeating Mountain West Conference rival San Diego State University (14-8, 6-4).
The 63-51 Cowgirl win, coupled with the Aztec loss, vaulted Wyoming into a three-way tie for 3rd place in the MWC standings with New Mexico, and San Diego State. The Poke win also avenged an earlier defeat at San Diego this season.
Hillary Carlson and Aubrey Vandiver continued their dominance on the home court by each recording a double-double. Vandiver, who played the entire 40 minutes of game time, scored 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Carlson had 10 rebounds and had a game high 21 points. Jade Kennedy also scored nine points for the Cowgirls.
San Diego State also spread their scoring around and had three players in double figures. Jenne Morris led the Aztecs with 12 points while Quenese Davis and Allsion Duffy each scored ten. Davis recorded a San Diego double-double by adding 11 rebounds to her totals.
In the “anything can happen” category, Randi Richardson recorded her fourth blocked shot of the season when the 5’7” guard stuffed San Diego’s 6’4” center, Paris Johnson. Richardson flew by from behind as Johnson was bringing a shot up and blocked the shot out of bounds.
Wyoming Head Coach Joe Legerski knew coming in that this game would be war. “We talked about having to compete for 40 minutes tonight against a great San Diego team,” he said. “We knew that we couldn’t let up, because they can score quickly, create turnovers and we saw that in the first half. We would get out to an eight to ten point lead and they would close that gap.”
Carlson staked Wyoming to a quick start and an early 5-0 lead against the tall, quick Aztecs with a 3-point field goal and then a medium-range jump shot. The Cowgirls led 30-22 at the break and by as many as 17 points with 4:53 left in the second half, but as Coach Legerski noted, San Diego proved on several occasions that they could quickly cut into the Poke lead.
Each time the Aztecs made a run however, the Cowgirls would step up and make the plays needed to retain or extend the lead. In the end, San Diego State learned the lesson that Wyoming has taught to every conference opponent this season: Don’t come to Laramie with great expectations.
The Cowgirls have ruled their realm with relentless, ruthless abandon this year, and the Aztecs became just another talented victim to be trampled at the Arena-Auditorium.
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