Another Las Vegas heartbreaker: Fresno State women narrowly fall in MW Tournament final for 2nd straight season

The Fresno State women's basketball team will miss out on an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season falling 59--56 to #7 Wyoming (14-9) in the Mountain West Tournament final. The victory clinches an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Cowgirls second-ever trip and first since 2008. The #7 seed is the highest seed to ever win the MW Tournament.

After trailing by 9 points late in the fourth quarter, FS battled back to make it a one-possession game. Down 3 with 3.4 seconds to play, the ball was inbounded to Haley Cavinder whose game-tying three was blocked to seal the Wyoming win.

As a team, FS shot just 26% from 3PT (4-15). An ice-cold second quarter proved to be the difference with the 'Dogs last basket coming with 9:41 to play Wyoming then went on a 16-0 run to take a 32-24 lead at the break.

Aly Gamez led the comeback efforts with 15 points (5-9 FG) while MW Player of the Year Haley Cavinder scored 12 points (5-16 FG). The sophomore's twin sister Hanna Cavinder added 12 points (6-15 FG) and senior Maddi Utti, last year's conference player of the year, also added 7 points (3-10 FG).


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"I think the program has the highest potential. When we came in we had great seniors to look up to, my class has helped really with our success bringing that experience and leadership and I think it's just going to carry on and continue on into the next classes," said senior guard Aly Gamez.

The players and coaches called Wednesday's final "unfinished business" after losing last year's final in overtime to Boise State.

"I'm proud of the way they fought all year. Not an easy year for them especially away from their families, not being able to see anyone, not being a normal college student they got through it and i'm proud of them for the success they had," said head coach Jaime White.

Haley Cavinder and Aly Gamez were named to the All-Tournament team while Wyoming's Quinn Weidemann was named Tournament MVP.

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FS will have to wait until Monday, March 15th for the Selection Show to find if they will play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. From 2008-2014, FS made it to the Tournament but was knocked out in the First Round every year.
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