* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release

LARAMIE -- For the first time in nearly two weeks, the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team will hit the floor as the Cowgirls host New Mexico tonight at 6:30 p.m., inside the Arena-Auditorium. UW’s last three contests have been postponed due to health and safety protocols.

The Cowgirls are also set to host Air Force this week as the Falcons come to town Saturday, Jan. 15 for a 2 p.m., tip. Both Thursday and Saturday’s contests will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and can be heard across all 25 stations on the Cowgirl Radio Network with Keith Kelley on the call.

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This week will be the Cowgirls’ first games since a 66-60 road loss at UNLV December 31. Quinn Weidemann led the shorthanded Cowgirls with a season-high 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor and a season-best 7-of-7 at the free-throw line in the loss. Tommi Olson also recorded a season-high 11 points and five steals in the loss. Allyson Fertig was a rebound shy of her second consecutive double-double as she scored 10 points and grabbed nine boards.

Although Olson’s four-game streak of not committing a turnover ended at UNLV, the senior continues to lead the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, recording a mark of 5.14. Olson also ranks fifth in the league in steals per game with two a contest.

Olson and Weidemann continue to climb the all-time ranks in program history. Weidemann is now ninth all-time with 159 career made 3-pointers, is 13th with 391 career attempts while her 40.7 3-point shooting percentage and 86.6-percent at the free-throw line rank fourth and second, respectively in UW history. Olson, meanwhile, is 15th all-time with 125 career steals and is 21st with 219 assists for her career.

One of the Cowgirls’ postponed games has already been rescheduled as Boise State will now come to Laramie for a 6:30 p.m., contest Jan. 25. That game was originally scheduled for Jan. 3 but was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols with UW.

League-leading New Mexico enters Thursday’s contest leading the Mountain West in scoring average at 75.8 points per game. The Lobos feature four student-athletes averaging at least 12.6 points per game. Shaiquel McGruder leads the Lobos in scoring at just over 14 points per game and is shooting nearly 61-percent from the field. Reigning MW Player of the Week Jaedyn De La Cerda, is averaging 13.4 points per game and is shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range. Twins LaTora and LaTascya Duff average 13.2 and 12.6 points per, respectively. LaTascya, who is the reigning conference Sixth Person of the Year, leads the team with 47 made 3-pointers and is hitting an impressive 48 percent from beyond-the-arc.

As a team, the Lobos are shooting 45.4 percent overall from the field and are hitting 38 percent of their 3-pointers. UNM averages 37.4 rebounds per game and is averaging 16.5 assists per game while committing 15.9 turnovers per. New Mexico is undefeated at home so far on the season but is 4-4 away from “The Pit”.

UNM, who won the regular season Mountain West title last season, is led by sixth-year head coach Mike Bradbury.

New Mexico leads the all-time series with the Cowgirls, 42-38 and has won three of the last four in the series. The two teams last played during the 2019-20 season, with each team winning of the others’ homecourt. UW is 26-13 in the series in Laramie. In two career contests against the Lobos, Alba Sanchez Ramos is averaging 9.5 points and seven rebounds per game on 50-percent shooting from 3-point range.

As a team, Air Force is averaging 62.3 points per game and allowing opponents to score at just 59.5 points per game, a mark that ranks fourth-best in the conference. The Falcons are shooting 38.8 percent from the field overall and are hitting just under 27 percent of its 3-pointers. AFA is averaging 34.3 rebounds and 12 assists per game while its 13 steals per game leads the league.

2021 Honorable Mention All-MW honoree Riley Snyder leads the Falcons averaging 14.9 points per game, a mark that ranks fifth-best in the league. Haley Jones’ 8.6 rebounds per contest is third-best in the Mountain West. Two other Falcons average in double figures so far on the season as Cierra Winters and Briana Autrey-Thompson are averaging 11.1 and 10.9 points per game, respectively. Jo Huntimer leads the squad averaging 3.1 assists per game. Winters and Autrey rank first and second, respectively in the league in steals per game while Jones is fourth. Head coach Chris Gobrecht is in her seventh season leading the program.

The Cowgirls have dominated the all-time series with the Falcons, 55-3 and have never lost a game in Laramie. The last time UW lost to Air Force was in 2018, a 57-47 loss at AFA. Last season, the Cowgirls swept the season series with the Falcons, winning both contests held in Laramie. Sanchez Ramos and Weidemann lead returners against AFA in their careers, averaging 9.3 and 8.7 points per game, respectively.

Thursday night, UW will be giving away Wyoming coffee mugs to fans following the game. Saturday is Youth Day at the AA, as youth tickets are available for $5. Saturday’s contest will also feature the first day of the Baby Crawl at halftime.

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