* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team officially tips the 2023-24 season Monday night at 6:30 as North Dakota comes to the Arena-Auditorium.

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Monday’s contest 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 had one final tune-up Thursday night with an exhibition win over Western Colorado. A total of 14 Cowgirls played in the 86-72 win with four scoring in double figures. Allyson Fertig led the way with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting while pulling down eight rebounds and recording a pair of blocks. Emily Mellema had 13 points and tallied three assists and a pair of steals.

Maren McKenna and Marta Savic added 10 points each off the bench. Savic, along with Kati Ollilainen led UW with five assists in the exhibition victory. Wyoming shot nearly 56-percent from the field in the game and hit 7-of-17 from 3-point range. The Cowgirls also forced 20 Mountaineer turnovers Thursday.

A total of 11 Cowgirls scored in the exhibition with all five newcomers getting minutes on the floor. No starter played more than 21 minutes against WCU and only one Cowgirl, Ollilainen, played more than 25 minutes on the night.

The Fighting Hawks are led by two-time All-Summit League honoree and the Preseason Summit League Player of the Year, Kacie Borowicz. Last season, Borowicz ranked 14th in the nation in scoring with 21.1 points per game. Borowicz also averaged four rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in 2022-23. UND was picked to finish fourth in the Preseason Summit League Poll.

Last season, North Dakota went 19-13 overall and 11-7 in the Summit League. The Fighting Hawks were potent offensively, averaging 75.3 points per game while shooting 42-percent from the floor and nearly 32-percent from 3-point range. As a team, UND also shot over 76-percent at the free-throw line. Defensively, UND allowed 71.2 points per game and opponents to shoot 39.3-percent from the floor and 31-percent from beyond-the-arc. North Dakota is led by fourth-year Head Coach Mallory Bernhard. UND finished third in the league a season ago.

The Cowgirls are 2-1 all-time against North Dakota with the lone loss coming at North Dakota in last season’s opener. Malene Pedersen led Wyoming with 14 points in that loss. Last season’s loss to the Fighting Hawks broke a streak of 10 consecutive season-opening wins for the Cowgirls. UW is 1-0 at home against the Fighting Hawks, having won 100-75 in November of 2008.

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