LARAMIE – University of Wyoming women’s basketball coach Gerald Mattinson can’t necessarily pinpoint the reason for the massive disparity in the Cowgirls’ first and second half shooting statistics Saturday afternoon against San Diego State. But he’s more than happy with the end result.

After a rough shooting first half, the Cowgirls hit 57% of their shots from the field in the second, including 9 of 12 shots in the fourth quarter, on their way to a dominant 62-41 win over the Aztecs to finish off the miniseries sweep.

It is UW’s second Mountain West sweep of the season. The Cowgirls (8-7 overall, 6-6 MW) never trailed Saturday due in part to a gritty defense that surrendered just 31.3% shooting overall.

“(It was the) halftime speech,” Mattinson said with a chuckle. “I liked the shots we took … we got to the basket.”

The Cowgirls ended the first quarter against the Aztecs (5-10, 3-6) on a 12-0 run but hit a bit of a skid in the second, making just 3 of 11 shots while scoring just seven points. UW had just 24 points at halftime but held a 9-point lead on the shoulders of its stingy defensive effort.

San Diego State scored just two points in the paint in the first half and 15 overall.

“All of us are getting to that point where we’re really disciplined,” sophomore guard McKinley Bradshaw said. “We’ve held teams well below their average (this season).”

The offense caught up to the defense in the third and fourth quarters, however, as Bradshaw and junior guard Alba Sanchez Ramos combined to score 14 of UW’s 38 second half points. The Cowgirls hit a scorching 75% of their shots in the fourth quarter.

In two losses against Nevada last week, UW was stout defensively but was unable to squeak enough offense through, shooting under 39% in both games. The cold shooting carried into Thursday’s matchup against San Diego State, though strong defense was able to lead the Cowgirls to an 18-point win anyway.

In Saturday’s finale, UW got the best of both worlds: its patented defense and more than enough offense.

“We were all were on the same page,” Bradshaw said. “We all just decided that we want it more than the other team. … We should be in the top-five (of the Mountain West).

“We were all feeling the good vibes (shooting).”

Bradshaw led the Cowgirls with 11 points in just over 16 minutes of action. Senior forward Jaye Johnson finished with 10 points in the victory.

Next up for the Cowgirls is archrival Colorado State, who also happens to be at the top of the conference standings at the moment.

While Mattinson was pleased with Saturday’s offensive effort and the consecutive wins over San Diego State, he’s well aware one or two games don’t define what a team is, good or bad. Consistent excellence is the key to UW’s potential as the season continues to roll toward the finish line.

“One game doesn’t say who you are one way or the other. It’s one game,” Mattinson said. “What we have to do now is put a couple of outcomes together.”

WYOMING 62, SAN DIEGO ST. 41

San Diego State…… 7 8 15 11 – 41

Wyoming…… 17 7 18 20 – 62

San Diego State: T. Adams 0-8 2-2 2, Hernandez 2-5 0-0 6, Gipson 1-2 0-0 2, Staples 5-11 1-2 11, Villalobos 1-4 2-2 4, M. Adams 2-5 2-2 8, Chynoweth 0-2 0-0 0, Sireni 0-1 0-0 0, Crain 2-6 0-0 4, Vinerte 0-1 0-0 0, Edwards 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 15-48 7-8 41

Wyoming: Johnson 4-7 0-0 10, Sanchez Ramos 3-6 0-0 8, Weidemann 4-8 0-0 9, Olson 3-6 0-0 6, Davidsdottir 1-6 0-1 2, Ellis 0-1 0-0 0, Salazar 1-3 0-0 2, Bradshaw 4-9 0-0 11, Savic 3-3 0-0 6, Hudson 1-1 0-0 3, Bull 0-0 0-0 0, Ustowska 2-4 0-0 5. Totals: 26-54 0-0 62

3-pointers: SDSU 4-14 (M. Adams 2-4, Hernandez 2-5, T. Adams 0-1, Staples 0-1, Crain 0-1, Chynoweth 0-2); UW 10-23 (Bradshaw 3-5, Sanchez Ramos 2-3, Johnson 2-4, Hudson 1-1, Ustowska 1-2, Weidemann 1-3, Davidsdottir 0-1, Ellis 0-1, Salazar 0-1, Olson 0-2). Rebounds: SDSU 25 (Crain 5); UW 37 (Davidsdottir 7). Assists: SDSU 7 (Staples 2, Crain 2); UW 13 (Olson 4). Turnovers: SDSU 10 (Three with 2); UW 10 (Johnson 4). Blocks: SDSU 3 (Villalobos 3); UW 2 (Johnson, Davidsdottir). Steals: SDSU 5 (Villalobos 2); UW 5 (Olson 4). Total fouls: SDSU 7; UW 7.

Michael Katz covers the University of Wyoming for WyoSports. He can be reached at mkatz@wyosports.net or 307-755-3325. Follow him on Twitter at @michaellkatz.

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