* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team will host Minnesota at 6:30 p.m., Monday evening in the Great 8 Round of the WNIT. The last time Wyoming made it to this round of the WNIT was 2019.

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Monday’s game will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and can be heard across the Cowgirl Radio Network with David Settle on the call.

Wyoming (18-14) is coming off an offensive showcase in its 84-52 win Friday night over South Dakota in the Super 16. The Cowgirls shot 54.7-percent from the field and made 35 field goals in the victory. It marks the first time since December of 2019 in which UW has made 35 field goals in a contest. Wyoming also tied its season-high with 54 bench points in the contest and got 32 points off the bench. Defensively, the Brown & Gold held South Dakota to just 27.3-percent shooting.

Five Cowgirls scored in double figures in the win, led by Allyson Fertig’s 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Fertig, who also recorded a game-best 11 rebounds, now has five double-doubles in the last six games. Over those six contests, Fertig is averaging 18.8 points and 10 rebounds per game on 69-percent shooting from the floor. The Cowgirl center is also averaging three blocks per contest over that stretch.

Off the bench Friday, Marta Savic and McKinley Dickerson paced Cowgirl reserves with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Emily Mellema added 11 points while Malene Pedersen had 10. It marks the first time since February of 2020 that Wyoming has had five players score in double figures in the same game. The Cowgirls, who are playing in their 12th WNIT in program history, are looking to improve to 23-10 all-time in the tournament and will look to make its third appearance in the Fab 4.

Minnesota is led by a trio of All-Big Ten honorees in Amaya Battle, Mara Braun and Grace Grocholski. Both Battle and Braun were named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, while Grocholski was named to the All-Freshman Team. Braun leads the Golden Gophers in scoring at 17 points per game and is shooting 36.4-percent from 3-point range and 92.2-percent at the free-throw line. Battle and Grocholski are second and third on the team in scoring at 11.8 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. Battle leads the team averaging just under 5.5 assists per game while Grocholski’s 75 made 3-pointers are a team-high. Mallory Heyer leads the Gophers at 8.5 rebounds per contest.

As a team, Minnesota scores at a 70-point per game clip, while opponents are averaging 66.3 points per game. The Golden Gophers shoot 42.1-percent overall from the field and 32.5-percent from beyond-the-arc. Opponents shoot it a bit better, 42.4-percent overall and 34.4-percent from deep. The Gophers out-rebound their opponents by over 2.5 rebounds per game and average over two fewer turnovers a contest. Minnesota averages 14.6 assists per game and have a 1.08 assist-to-turnover ratio. Minnesota is 2-8 in road contests in 2023-24.

The Cowgirls are 0-3 all-time against Minnesota but have never played the Golden Gophers in Laramie. Wyoming is 0-2 on the road in the series and last met Minnesota in November of 2001, a 92-66 loss in Hawai’i at the Rainbow Wahine Classic.

Tickets are currently on sale for the Great 8. Tickets can be purchased online at www.GoWyo.com/Tickets, over the phone at 307-766-7220 or in-person at the UW Ticket Office. Courtside tickets are $50, general admission tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for youth and students. Season ticket holders will have their regular seats and can renew their tickets at GoWyo.com/renew or by calling the UW ticket office. The Wyoming Ticket Office will be closed Easter Sunday and will re-open Monday at 8 a.m.

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