Fresno State's Taylor Thompson recalls exactly why it's tough to win at Wyoming.
Within a couple of minutes of running up and down the court at Arena Auditorium in Laramie, she's had difficulty breathing.
"It's a tough to breathe there are first," the senior guard said. "You feel it in both halves. You have to get your second wind. or you'll be out of breath."
Playing an at elevation of 7,165 and it's partly why the Bulldogs women's basketball team is 0-7 all-time at Wyoming.
Fresno State (12-7, 6-2) will try to end that drought Wednesday against the host Cowgirls (12-5, 3-3) in a Mountain West Conference game. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
"Most definitely with the altitude and the fans who seem like they're on top of you, the way the arena is shaped, it's always a tough place to play," Thompson said. "I like the momentum we have going in. We had two really good practices. Hopefully, we can carry that over to the game."
Fresno State is coming off a 70-52 win against UNLV (8-11, 5-2) to remain a half-game behind Colorado State (14-4, 6-1) for first place in the conference. Wyoming has alternated wins with losses since Mountain West play started, though the Cowgirls are 7-1 at home this season.
Last season, Fresno State lost at Wyoming 78-71 but the Bulldogs were victorious in the two other meetings that did not take place on the Cowgirls' home court, including a 63-62 victory the last time the teams met during the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas.
"They've got a great atmosphere in Wyoming," Bulldogs coach Raegan Pebley said. "They come from all over the state. And the team, they just do a lot of things really well. Wyoming especially runs its half-court offense extremely well.
"You have make sure your players know to be in shape and have to prepare your whole team because there's a good chance you're going to use your bench a lot."
Wyoming leads the Mountain West with an 8.2-point average margin per game, and junior forward Kayla Woodward ranks third in the conference with an average of 17 points and per game.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, lead the Mountain West in defense, with opponents averaging just 61.8 points per game as well as shooting a conference-low 29.3% on 3-pointers. But they'll play their third straight game without forward Alex Sheedy, who did not make the trip and has been sidelined with a lower-leg injury.
"These games against Wyoming are always challenging, Pebley said, "and they're always exciting."
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: FRESNO STATE AT WYOMING
Today: 6 p.m. in Laramie
Records: Bulldogs 12-7, 6-2; Cowgirls 12-5, 3-3
Series: Fresno State leads 10-9, but is 0-7 in Laramie
Bulldogs: Hoping to continue road mastery, Fresno State heads to place where it has found going tough. Bulldogs won 2 of 3 games between teams last year, including 63-62 in conference tournament semifinal on Ki-Ki Moore's late bucket, but fell 78-71 last January at Arena Auditorium. This year, Fresno State is 3-1 in MWC road games. … Bulldogs still without injured forward Alex Sheedy, but saw guard Robin Draper step up Saturday vs. UNLV with career-high 14 points (she averages 6.3) to back up usual stars Taylor Thompson and Bree Farley.
Cowgirls: Kayla Woodward (17 ppg, 7.2 rebounds, 39 of 110 on 3-pointers), a 5-11 junior forward and Preseason MWC Player of the Year; 6-0 senior guard Fallon Lewis (15.1, 9.8); and 5-10 guard Kaitlyn Mileto (39-111 on 3's) lead way. … Still, a low-scoring game may be in store, with Fresno State (59.6) and the Cowgirls (63.3) running 2-3 in MWC scoring defense.
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