* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team closes the non-conference slate in 2022-23 with a pair of tough road contests. The Cowgirls’ road swing begins with a 1 p.m. Mountain Time tip-off Dec. 18 at Nebraska. UW is on a current four-game winning streak while the Cornhuskers have won three straight.

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Sunday’s game can be watched on the Big Ten Network-Plus and can be heard across the Cowgirl Radio Network with David Settle on the call.

Wyoming (6-3) closed its three-game homestand last Sunday in style, with a 72-43 victory over Kansas City. The Cowgirls outscored the Roos 26-8 in the fourth quarter of the victory and went a perfect 10-for-10 from the field in the final 10 minutes. Malene Pedersen led the way with a career-high 20 points in the win, earning her Mountain West Freshman of the Week honors for her efforts. Quinn Weidemann and Allyson Fertig also finished in double-digit scoring with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Fertig recorded her second double-double of the season as she added a game-high 11 rebounds.

For the second consecutive game, the Cowgirls recorded a season-high in team shooting percentage, hitting 57.4-percent of their shots. It was also the second-straight games that UW recorded 20-plus assists as it assisted on 21 of the made 27 field goals against KC. Wyoming also notched its best rebounding margin of 2022-23, as it out-rebounded the Roos, 34-17.

Weidemann, who will be playing close to her hometown of Omaha Sunday, leads the Cowgirls this season in scoring at 13 points per game. Weidemann is shooting 44.7-percent from 3-point range, a mark that ranks third in the Mountain West, as do her 2.3 made 3-pointers per contest. Weidemann is also second on the team with 21 assists and seven steals.

Grace Ellis is also averaging in double figures thus far on the season, averaging 10.2 points per game while making a team-best 54.5-percent of her shots and is 10-for-18 from beyond-the-arc. Fertig, meanwhile, is nearly averaging a double-double this season, as she enters the contest averaging 9.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Fertig’s 14 blocks ranks third in the league.

As a team, Wyoming is up to 65.6 points per game and is allowing opponents to score at just over 51 points per contest, a mark that leads the conference and is 10th-best in the nation. The Cowgirls’ plus-14.1 scoring margin is third-best in the MW. UW also ranks second in the league in defensive field goal percentage (35.1), defensive 3-point percentage (26.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.25). Wyoming is once again solid on the defensive end, without fouling this season. The Cowgirls are first in the conference and No. 7 in the country at committing the fewest fouls per game at 13.

Nebraska has a balanced and impressive offensive attack as four Cornhuskers average in double figures in scoring in 2022-23. Jaz Shelley, who is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, leads the team averaging 15.4 points per game, 6.7 assists per game, 18 steals and 20 made 3-pointers. Alexis Markowski (12.5), Isabelle Bourne (12.0) and Allison Weidner (10.5) are the other Cornhuskers averaging 10-plus per game. Markowski leads the way with 9.7 rebounds and 10 blocks.

As a team, Nebraska is averaging 73.3 points per game and is shooting 43.3-percent from the field and 36-percent from 3-point range. Cornhusker opponents are averaging just under 60 points per contest and are shooting 37.7-percent overall and 32.7-percent from 3-point range. Nebraska is out-rebounding its opponents at seven boards per game. The Cornhuskers are a perfect 5-0 at home this season.

Nebraska leads the all-time series against the Cowgirls, 7-0. Four of those wins have come at Nebraska, including a 72-61 victory last season in Lincoln. This is the second consecutive season with a matchup between the two schools, after last meeting in 2006. Last season, the Cornhuskers defeated Wyoming, 72-61. Fertig nearly had a double-double in the loss, scoring 16 points and pulling down nine boards. Ola Ustowska also finished the day in double figures, scoring 10 points and hitting a pair from beyond-the-arc.

Wyoming women’s basketball Head Coach Heather Ezell will be taking a leave of absence for the foreseeable future due to the impending birth of her child. Ezell is doing fine and is focusing on her health and the health of the baby. Associate Head Coach Ryan Larsen will assume the interim role during Ezell’s absence.

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