CHEYENNE – Stagnant first-half offense has been troubling for the University of Wyoming women’s basketball team as of late.

The Cowgirls have been outscored by 11 points in the first quarter and by 43 points in the second quarter so far this season. However, they’ve managed to outscore opponents by 17 in the second half, often putting themselves in position to win the game down the stretch.

“If you look at the (third and fourth quarters), we either win those quarters or we’re right there with them,” junior Quinn Weidemann said. “Our slow starts have definitely impacted us, but we’ve talked about attacking first and not playing from behind.

“We’ve noticed it’s been hurting us, and we’re trying to focus on not digging ourselves into holes that are tough to get out of.”

In three of their past four contests, UW (6-7 overall, 4-6 Mountain West) has gone into halftime trailing, but has outscored its opponent in the second half. Only one of those three games resulted in a win – a home contest against the Air Force Academy on Jan. 16.

UW forward Dagny Davidsdottir said the undervalued warm-ups prior to a game also can’t be overlooked.

“It’s all about the level of focus we have going into a game,” Davidsdottir said. “It’s about warm-ups, too, getting a feel for the game, the court and the atmosphere. ... It really is important, and gets us ready to come out and play the first couple of minutes.”

Those slow starts were key factors in UW’s two losses to Nevada during their two-game road trip over this past weekend. The Cowgirls scored only 20 first-half points in the first meeting and scored only 16 in the first half of the second contest.

It’s also been a key factor in all of the Cowgirls’ road contests this season. Adjusting to the different feel of the gym might be another component in UW getting off to a slow start while playing away from home.

“Playing on the road might be a factor,” Davidsdottir said. “But it’s something we can’t let get in the way. We still need to just focus on what we do well and capitalize on that.”

Today, UW hosts San Diego State with the hope of snapping its current two-game skid. The Aztecs play a similar style of basketball as the Cowgirls, with both teams ranking in the bottom three in scoring in the conference and in the top three in defense.

It will be the first time fans will be allowed in the Arena-Auditorium since early December. The Wyoming Department of Health has allowed for limited attendance at all of Wyoming’s athletic events, with a capacity of 2,000 for basketball games.

Playing in Laramie is known to have an advantage for both the Cowboys and Cowgirls, and even though it’ll be limited, Weidemann is hoping the reappearance of the fans will provide a spark for the team.

“I think (having the fans again) is going to make a big difference,” Weidemann said. “I know our team feeds off that, and having fans will be really good for us and how we play.”

Robert Munoz is a writer for WyoSports. He can be reached rmunoz@wyosports.net. Follow him on Twitter @rmunoz307.

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