LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls gave everything they had in another triple-overtime contest, only this time it ended in a loss to UCLA Thursday night in the Arena-Auditorium in the round of 16 of the Women’s NIT.

The Cowgirls came up just short, falling 82-81 in what was UW’s third consecutive overtime game during the WNIT.

It's the second straight year Wyoming's season has come to an end at the hands of the Bruins.

Get our free mobile app

“I’m proud of our effort,” UW head coach Gerald Mattinson said. “I’ve got to give UCLA credit, they made some big shots and had some big stops at the end. Who would have thought we would play three-straight overtime games. I don’t know how to put my emotions right now into words. I thought our kids responded to that team really well. I don’t think they backed down at all and credit to the team. They didn’t quit and that’s who these girls are -- that’s who they’ve been. They’re not going to give in, they’re going to fight until the end.”

This game featured a bit of everything:

* 23 lead changes

* 155 shot attempts

* 100 total rebounds

* 78 combined points in the paint

Both teams came out cold to begin the contest as UCLA missed nine of its first 10 shots and the Cowgirls missed 3-of-4 with four turnovers. However, after back-to-back hoops from UW, it took a 7-4 lead heading into the first quarter media timeout with 3:29 left in the quarter. The Bruins regained the lead to end the frame, 12-10, after hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to close the quarter.

Turnovers -- 25 in total -- continued to plague Wyoming.

The second quarter began with consecutive hoops for the Cowgirls, a midrange jumper from McKinley Bradshaw and an Alba Sanchez Ramos 3-pointer as UW reclaimed a 15-12 lead.

The two teams would begin exchanging the lead back-and-forth as the two traded buckets and UCLA took a 20-17 lead into the media timeout. After the Bruins opened up a 22-17 advantage, back-to-back 3-pointers from Bradshaw and Sanchez Ramos put the Cowgirls back in front briefly, 23-22 before the Bruins responded with a layup.

After another Sanchez Ramos jumper, UCLA called timeout with 2:36 remaining in the half. Out of the timeout, the two teams traded 3-pointers on three consecutive trips as the half ended on a fast and furious pace with UCLA leading 32-30 at halftime.

Despite shooting 60% in the first half, the Cowgirls shot just 1-of-5 at the free-throw line and committed 10 turnovers in the game’s opening 20 minutes.

The Bruins came out firing to begin the second half, scoring the first four points to extended their lead to, 36-30, their largest of the night. The Cowgirls would respond though with the next six points to knot the score at 39-39 with more than five minutes left in the third.

Following a Bruin free throw and the media timeout, UCLA would extend the lead out to 44-39 before the Cowgirls closed the frame with four consecutive free throws and trailed by just one, 44-43, heading to the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Cowgirls took the lead for the first time in the second half on an elbow jumper from Sanchez Ramos. It got extended even further after an Allyson Fertig turnaround jumper with 7:38 to play. The Bruins would respond with a pair of buckets and tied the score at 48-48.

After a pair of Bruin free throws, Quinn Weidemann’s third 3-pointer gave the Cowgirls the lead right back, 51-50 with 3:27 left.

Following a UCLA timeout, the lead was back up to three after a Sanchez Ramos running layup. The Bruins would again respond, hitting a corner three after back-to-back offensive rebounds to tie the game up at 53-53 with 1:27 to go.

The two teams would exchange multiple defensive stops late and for the third consecutive game in the WNIT and fourth-straight at home, the Cowgirls went to overtime.

A Weidemann reverse layup with 2:50 to play gave the Cowgirls their first lead in the extra frame at 59-58 before a pair of free throws from Fertig pushed it up to a three-point differential with 1:32 to play. Following a timeout, the Bruins would get a quick layup, which was then followed by both teams getting defensive stops. After a UW free throw, the Bruins had one last chance to either extend or win the game, trailing 62-60 with 11.1 left. UCLA would tie the game again with a layup with under two seconds and now the Cowgirls were forced to play their second-straight multi-overtime contest.

In the second overtime, the Cowgirls responded to an early deficit with back-to-back hoops to take a 66-64 lead with 2:38 to play and after a UW steal, the Cowgirls called a timeout. Out of the timeout, a Fertig free throw made it a three-point edge before both teams exchanged mid-range jumpers and the Cowgirls led 69-66 with 41.2 to play. UCLA would answer yet again, hitting a putback with 27.9 left before Grace Ellis nailed two free throws to make the lead three once again.

Charisma Osborne was fouled on a 3-point shot and drilled all three attempts from the charity stripe to force another tie -- and another extra frame. This was Wyoming's second consecutive triple-overtime affair in five days.

In the third overtime, Weidemann’s corner jumper gave the Cowgirls the 76-75 lead with under three to play before UCLA answered back after another UW turnover with a three-point play with 1:45 remaining. The Cowgirls ran out of steam late as the extra minutes and wear-and-tear from the last three games began to show as a Weidemann layup ended a two-and-a-half minute scoring drought for the Cowgirls. After two UCLA free throws made it an 82-78 lead for the Bruins, a Tommi Olson 3-pointer cut the deficit to 82-81 with just 2.8 seconds left.

It was too little, too late.

The Bruins were able to inbound the ball and avoid getting fouled as they escaped Laramie with the victory.

Sanchez Ramos was tied for the Cowgirl lead with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. In her last career game in the Brown & Gold, she also added eight rebounds, had a pair of assists and added a block and a steal. Weidemann also had 21 points on the night as she hit 9-of-13 from the field and went 3-of-5 from 3-point range while adding three assists.

Fertig added her third consecutive double-double as she ended the night with 16 points and 11 boards while Bradshaw got her first-career double-double as she finished with 14 points and pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds.

For the night, the Cowgirls shot 45.2-percent (28-62) and made 8-of-13 from 3-point range. UW went 17-of-25 at the free-throw line and committed 25 turnovers as the Bruins outscored UW 24-10 in points off turnovers. UCLA shot 33-of-93 from the floor (35.5-percent) thanks to Cowgirl miscues and offensive boards and went 7-of-25 from beyond-the-arc.

The Cowgirls season comes to an end at 17-13 overall.

15 Questions You Should Never Ask Someone From Wyoming

More From KGAB