Cowgirls Turnover Game to Boise; Winning Streak Snapped at 3

Tracy Ringolsby

From the desk of Sean O'Sullivan/Wyoming Athletic Department

BOISE – The Cowgirls (11-10, 7-5) were victimized by a season-high 24 turnovers, and saw their three-game winning streak snapped at Boise State in a 67-48 loss on Wednesday, as the Broncos (16-8, 8-5 MW) took a 67-48 win on their home court. 

“They just got out after us,” said head coach Gerald Mattinson. “They pushed the ball out and switched us a lot. We were intimidated by their switch. They got out and pressured the wings on us. I give them credit. They came out and played like a team that is playing for something. They said, ‘we’re going to get out, get in your faces and see how you respond.’ And quite honestly, we didn’t respond well enough with 24 turnovers.”

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The Cowgirls were led by freshman Jaeden Vaifanua, who scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. She also had three rebounds and a steal on the game. Vaifanua has reached double-digit scoring in back-to-back games and for the fifth time this season.

Sophomore Tereza Vitulova scored 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including a perfect 2-of-2 from three-point range. Vitulova has now reached double-digit scoring in four straight games and 16 times this year. The Domasov, Czech Republic native had three rebounds for the Cowgirls.

Senior Taylor Rusk had five points and a team-high three assists. Sophomore Tommi Olson had a team-high five rebounds and a team-best three steals. Sophomore Alba Sanchez Ramos scored two points with four rebounds and two assists, while junior Jaye Johnson had four points and a steal.

The Cowgirls hot 40.5 percent (17-42) from the field, 20.0 percent (2-10) on threes and shot 80.0 percent (12-15) from the free throw line. The two made threes are a season low for the Cowgirls. Wyoming had just six assists and 24 turnovers.

The Broncos jumped out to a 9-2 lead to start the game, with Vitulova scoring for Wyoming. Vaifanua scored six straight for Wyoming, but BSU scored a three in the middle of her run. The Broncos hit a three to make it 15-8, and then scored six of the next seven points to take a 21-9 lead after one quarter.

Sophomore Quinn Weidemann scored a layup to kickstart a 10-0 run for the Cowgirls to start the quarter. The Broncos ended the run with a long jumper, but the Cowgirls cut the lead to 23-19 with 6:23 to go in the frame. After three more BSU points, Johnson scored four straight for Wyoming to make it 26-23 with 2:43 to play in the first half. However, the Broncos scored four more before the halftime buzzer to go up 30-23 at the half.

The Broncos scored a layup to start the third quarter, and Vitulova answered with a pull-up jumper at the free throw line. The teams traded points, and BSU led 37-30 with 6:17 to play in the quarter. The Cowgirls went the final 6:18 of the quarter without any points, and the Broncos took a 48-30 lead after three periods.

Rusk scored a free throw to start the final quarter. The teams traded points to a 52-35 Bronco lead. Vaifanua converted an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 58-41 with 2:31 to play.

Boise State was led by Riley Lupfer’s 18 points and three rebounds. Jade Loville had 10 points and two rebounds. Mallory McGwire had six points and a team-high seven rebounds.

The Broncos shot 45.6 percent (26-57) from three, 26.3 percent (5-19) from three and 83.3 percent (10-12) from the free throw line. Boise State had 11 assists and 14 turnovers during the night.

The Cowgirls return to action on Saturday, Feb. 8, when they host New Mexico at 2 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. This will be the Cowgirls’ “Bounce Cancer” game.

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