Wyoming women beat Fresno St., clinch berth in NCAA tourney


LAS VEGAS — Quinn Weidemann scored 14 points, Grace Ellis hit two free throws with 3.4 seconds left and Wyoming beat Fresno State 59-56 on Wednesday night to win the Mountain West Conference tournament and clinch a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.

McKinley Bradshaw added 13 points for seventh-seeded Wyoming (14-9), which knocked off second-seeded UNLV in the quarterfinals.

The Cowgirls hadn’t played in 24 days due to issues related to the coronavirus pandemic before winning four games in four days in the conference tournament. They have won six straight overall.

Aly Gamez had 15 points, Haley Cavinder and Hanna Cavinder scored 12 apiece and Wytalla Motta added 10 for Fresno State (16-10). The Bulldogs lost in the title game for the second consecutive season.

Bradshaw hit a 3-pointer to give Wyoming a 57-50 lead with 3:31 to play. Hanna Cavinder made back-to-back layups and Haley Cavinder hit a jumper to pull Fresno State within a point with 32 seconds left. The Bulldogs went 0 for 3 from the field from there, including a potential tying 3-pointer by Haley Cavinder that was blocked by Alba Sanchez Ramos at the buzzer.

The Cowgirls held Fresno State, which went into the game leading the conference in field-goal percentage (.455) and second in points per game (78.8), to its lowest point total of the season on 36.5% shooting.

The Bulldogs beat top-seeded New Mexico 77-72 in the semifinals.

More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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