* University of Wyoming press release

FRESNO, Calif., – The Wyoming Cowgirls led from start-to-finish Saturday on the road at Fresno State, coming away with a convincing 69-47 victory in Fresno. The Cowgirls hit a 3-pointer of their opening possession of the game and cruised from there.

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Wyoming came out firing, jumping out to an early 10-3 lead, forcing Fresno State into a timeout. The Cowgirls, who hit their first four 3-pointers, led by as many as 20-9 in the first quarter and held a 23-14 lead after one complete. UW shot 61.5-percent in the first.

In the second, UW continued to play well offensively, building the lead up to as many as 11, 30-19. The Bulldogs would cut the deficit down to seven later in the frame, as the physicality ramped up and Wyoming lost the shooting touch from the outside. The Cowgirls led 35-25 at halftime as Emily Mellema beat the buzzer with a nifty move in the paint.

The third quarter began with some more solid Cowgirl defense, despite not getting shots to fall, Wyoming still led 37-25 early in the second half. UW’s lead was down to 39-31 at the media timeout.

The Cowgirl lead was cut to 41-35 before Tess Barnes’ third 3-pointer of the game pushed the advantage back to nine. The Bulldog offense found its rhythm later in the third but Allyson Fertig’s inside presence helped build the Wyoming lead up to 51-38 going to the fourth.

UW got the first two hoops to open the fourth and led 55-38 with 8:57 to play as Fresno called a timeout. After the timeout, the Cowgirls continued to play solid defense and attack the paint on offense, as the lead was extended to 59-40 with 6:03 left as the Bulldogs called another timeout.

Following the second timeout, an Ola Ustowska 3-pointer pushed the lead to more than 20 as things were all but over from there.

Fertig recorded her sixth double-double of the season and 25th of her career as she ended the day with 19 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-10 from the field. Barnes and Malene Pedersen also closed in double figures, scoring 16 and 13, respectively. Wyoming shot 54-percent for the game and hit 8-of-16 from 3-point range.

The Bulldogs were held to 32-percent and just 3-for-19 from beyond-the-arc. Ustowska continues distributing the ball effectively in league play for the Cowgirls, as she led the way with another five assists and had no turnovers.

Wyoming outscored Fresno 36-26 in the paint and had a 10-6 edge in points off turnovers. The Bulldogs had an 11-7 advantage in second-chance points while their bench scored 23 to the Cowgirls’ nine. Fresno had just three assists in the contest.

Next up, it’s a first-place showdown for the Cowgirls as they travel to face UNLV Wednesday, Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

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