Bench Provides Spark as Cowgirls Outlast Nevada, 59-52
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls got some key contributions from their bench and made enough plays down the stretch to hang on for a 59-52 victory over Nevada Saturday in the Arena-Auditorium.
Cowgirl reserves accounted for over a third of their scoring, with 20 points in the victory.
Wyoming opened the game with a 6-2 lead but five-straight from the Wolf Pack before the media timeout gave Nevada a 7-6 lead early. After the timeout, things continued to be driven by the defenses as scoring was sparse. However, the Wolf Pack held a 16-13 lead after one.
Nevada continued to build its lead up in the second as the Cowgirl offense continued to sputter. The Wolf Pack extended their lead to 20-17 before six straight from Wyoming cut the deficit to 20-19. Nevada would counter though and led 24-19 at the second media. Out of the media, Marta Savic hit back-to-back layups and the Cowgirls were back down by one. From there, the Cowgirls would get another layup from Savic after a Nevada free throw and things were tied 25-25 at halftime.
Things started in the second half the way they did in the first, with offensive struggles continuing for both teams. However, a 5-2 run to open the half from the Cowgirls gave them a slim three-point advantage. The score was tied 32-32 at the media timeout. Following the timeout, McKinley Dickerson got the Cowgirls a couple of hoops, and the UW advantage was back up to three points. The final three minutes saw the two teams trade points as Wyoming held a 40-37 lead going to the fourth.
Wyoming got the first two layups to start the fourth and took a 44-37 lead with 7:39 left as Nevada called a timeout. An Allyson Fertig layup out of the timeout pushed the lead up to nine before a Wolf Pack layup. Ola Ustowska hit the Cowgirls’ first 3-pointer of the game the next time down the floor and the lead was double digits. UW led 49-41 at the media timeout.
After the timeout, a Tess Barnes layup brought the lead back to 10. Nevada would respond however, as good outside looks for the Cowgirls wouldn’t fall, as Wyoming failed to land the knockout blow. The Wolf Pack cut the Cowgirl lead down to just five. After a pair at the line dropped in for Fertig, Nevada called a timeout with 40.6 left with the Cowgirls up 53-46. The Wolf Pack got an easy layup out of the timeout which was followed by two free throws from Maren McKenna.
The timeout fest continued after another Nevada layup without much resistance. Two free throws from Tess Barnes came next, followed by a Cowgirl defensive stop. Malene Pedersen was able to hit two as well with 13.1 left and it was all over from there.
“That was the definition of an ugly win,” said Head Coach Heather Ezell postgame.
“They don’t always have to be pretty, but we were able to make some plays when the time was right and pull it out. We played Nevada’s style of play and not our style as much as I wanted to on the offensive end today.”
“Defensively, we got stops when we needed to get stops today.”
McKenna and Savic led the bench with eight and six points, respectively on a combined 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. Fertig led all scorers with 12 points in the victory while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Pedersen also closed in double figures with 10 points and grabbed six boards. Ustowska, once again, led the Cowgirls with three assists on the day.
Overall, Wyoming shot just 22-for-51 (43.1-percent) from the floor and went 1-of-12 from beyond-the-arc. The Cowgirls did go 14-of-16 at the free-throw line with McKenna and Pedersen each going 4-for-4. The Wolf Pack shot 41.1-percent (23-56) and made 3-of-9 from deep. Nevada made just 3-of-7 at the stripe, however.
Nevada out-rebounded the Cowgirls 34-31 and had a 10-6 edge in second-chance points. The Cowgirls clung to a 38-36 advantage in points in the paint and had 16 points off turnovers while Nevada tallied 13. The Cowgirl bench outscored the Wolf Pack’s by seven points.
Next up for the Cowgirls will be a continuation inside the Arena-Auditorium. UW welcomes Utah State to town Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m., tip.
From Bison to Triceratops - All of Wyoming's Official Things
Gallery Credit: Ben Kuhns
- From Bison to Triceratops - All of Wyoming's Official Things