* University of Wyoming athletics media relations release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team got out to a fast start in the first half Monday night inside the Arena-Auditorium on their way to a 71-48 victory over Chadron State. UW scored 43 points in the first half.

The Cowgirls sparked offensively through the first 10 minutes of the contest, shooting 10-of-14 in the first quarter and carried a 23-16 lead into the second. In the second, the Cowgirl defense began to take shape, holding the Eagles to just six points and 3-of-13 shooting in the frame. Wyoming led 43-22 at halftime and shot 19-of-34 (56 percent) in the first half.

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In the second half, the UW offense sputtered as it mustered just seven points in the frame, on 2-of-13 from the floor. The Cowgirl defense held Chadron in check, to just 11 points in the third and the Cowgirls led 50-33 heading into the final quarter.

In the fourth, Wyoming found its rhythm a bit again on the offensive end, thanks in large part to Allyson Fertig’s eight points and six rebounds in the quarter. Overall, the Cowgirls hit 8-of-19 shots in the final 10 minutes, outscoring the Eagles 21-15 in the frame and lengthening its lead down the stretch.

“I thought that once again we played hard, but not always smart – but we played hard,” said head coach Gerald Mattinson. “I would have liked to have seen us execute a little bit better tonight. We’ve got to go back and look at some film and get better on the offensive end.”

McKinley Bradshaw led all scorers with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting in just 19 minutes of action. Fertig meanwhile, recorded career-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (10) as she notched her first-career double-double in the victory.

Ola Ustowska and Paula Salazar added nine and eight points, respectively off the bench, with Salazar grabbing six boards. Lexi Bull and Grace Ellis also added six boards each to lead the Cowgirl rebounding effort.

Wyoming got a great effort from its bench on the night, scoring a season-high 38 points from its reserves. The Cowgirls also had big advantages in points in the paint (52-14), second-chance points (16-5) and points off turnovers (14-8).

“We needed the bench tonight,” Mattinson said. “I thought the bench stepped up and got some scoring done and that was a great effort from them.”

The Cowgirls out-rebounded the Eagles 50-23 in the contest and had a season-best 16 assists overall, 11 of which came in the first half. Quinn Weidemann led the Cowgirls in that category with a season-best five, while Tommi Olson added four.

UW shot just under 44 percent on the night but went just 2-of-16 from 3-point range. The Eagles, were held to 39.6 percent shooting from the floor and hit 5-of-18 from beyond-the-arc. The Cowgirls had a solid night at the free-throw line, hitting 11-of-14 at the stripe while CSC went just 2-of-6.

The Cowgirls are now set later this week to hit the road for the Denver Pioneer Thanksgiving Classic. Wyoming will face Tulane at 1 p.m., Friday to open the tourney before ending Saturday at 3:30 p.m., against host-DU.

“I think defensively we’ll be fine this weekend, but I know that Tulane will present a huge challenge for us. They’re very talented, they will be no-doubt, up-until-this-point the best team we’ve faced this year,” continued Mattinson postgame.

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