* University of Wyoming press release

LAS VEGAS, Nev., – The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team dropped its final non-conference game of the season Friday at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic. Wyoming lost to Eastern Washington, 62-43 in a contest that was much closer than the final score indicated.

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Much like they did in Thursday’s win, the Cowgirls got off to a strong start Friday, scoring the first six points of the game. From there, it was a defensive struggle the rest of the frame as an Allyson Fertig layup was the only hoop for Wyoming the final 7:45 of the first. EWU’s offense also struggled to get going, but the Eagles closed the first on a 10-2 run and led 10-8 after one.

The run continued for Eastern Washington to begin the second as they built the lead up to as many as six before the media timeout as turnovers started becoming a bugaboo for the Cowgirls. UW trailed 16-12 with 4:57 left in the half. After the timeout, the physical, defensive play continued as a pair of Maren McKenna free throws knotted things up at 18-18 with three minutes left in the half. From there, the Eagles would control the rest of the second and took a 26-21 lead into the break.

In the third quarter, EWU was able to extend its lead out to as many as 11 as its offense started to find a rhythm. The Cowgirls were able to trim the deficit down to five late in the quarter as they clawed their way back into it with a little 6-0 run. The Eagles led 37-28 at the media and 39-34 after three.

The rest of the contest was pretty much controlled by EWU as UW couldn’t get any closer than five the rest of the way. The Eagles were able to push their lead out late on the way to the victory.

After shooting the ball well from beyond-the-arc Thursday, the Cowgirls struggled from deep in Friday’s loss, shooting just 2-of-15. Overall, UW shot 38.3-percent while EWU shot nearly 45-percent and four 3-pointers.

Fertig and Malene Pedersen led the way with 13 points each in the loss and shot a combined 11-for-18. Fertig was just one rebound shy of her second consecutive double-double as she led Wyoming with nine boards and a pair of blocks against the Eagles. Pedersen had four boards and a couple of assists.

Friday concluded the Cowgirls’ non-conference schedule. Wyoming returns to action and begins Mountain West play with a 12:30 p.m., tip-off against Boise State in Laramie Dec. 30.

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