Cowgirls Roll in Border War, Clinch No. 2 Seed in MW Tourney
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls outscored Colorado State 25-7 over the final 6:40 Saturday night and scored 30 points in the fourth quarter on their way to a 76-60 win on Senior Night in Laramie.
Allyson Fertig scored a career-high 27 points in the victory as Wyoming sent its super seniors, Tommi Olson and Quinn Weidemann, out in style in front of a home crowd.
“To be able to watch Tommi and Quinn, and even all 13, I told the team this win goes to everybody,” UW head coach Heather Ezell said postgame. “It wasn’t just the five on the court at the end, or the ones who played and who didn’t, this was a team win top to bottom. It was fun to see them celebrate like they did. Tommi and Quinn, they live and die Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball. When we talk about toughness, those two are exactly who we’re talking about.”
After Wyoming (20-9, 13-5 MW) scored the first five points of the game, CSU responded with the next four early on as the Cowgirls went on a scoring drought before the first quarter media timeout.
Following the timeout, UW had some sloppy possessions, turning the ball over as the Rams continued to miss shots. A Malene Pedersen layup ended the Cowgirls’ seven-minute scoring drought. Wyoming led 9-6 after a low-scoring first quarter.
Colorado State went on a 7-0 run after the Cowgirls got the first hoop of the second quarter and took its first lead of the game, 13-11 with 7:34 left in the second. An Allyson Fertig and-one layup stopped the Ram run.
After that, the two teams traded 3-pointers as both squads started to find an offensive rhythm and Wyoming led 24-21 at the second quarter media. The final 4:15 of the half saw UW build its lead up to 32-23 with under a minute left before the Rams countered with the final hoop.
Tess Barnes hit a pair of 3-pointers to help spur the Cowgirls’ 13-4 run to end the first half.
The Cowgirls opened the second half scoring six of the first eight points and forced a CSU timeout with 7:25 left in the third and leading 38-27. After the timeout, Wyoming would push it to 41-28 before the two teams exchanged 3-pointers around the media timeout. The Rams would close the third with a big 9-2 run and the UW lead was down to 46-40 going to the fourth.
The fourth quarter began the way the third ended, with Colorado State continuing its run and eventually taking a 53-51 lead with 6:34 remaining. The Cowgirls got a couple of good looks that just wouldn’t fall and the Rams couldn’t miss offensively. CSU hit a 30-foot 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring to take its first lead since the first half.
From there, though, it was all Cowgirls as a Fertig three-point play reclaimed the lead for UW. The Cowgirls called a timeout with 6:19 left to play.
Out of the timeout, Fertig took over and gave UW a 59-53 lead with 5:04 left. After a Wyoming free-throw, the Rams would cut it down to 62-58 before four-straight from the Cowgirls forced another CSU timeout with 2:31 left and the Cowgirls up eight. Following a pair at the line from Quinn Weidemann, Colorado State would hit a running layup to make the score 68-60 with 1:28 left as the Rams called their final timeout.
After the timeout, Pedersen would make four at the charity stripe and it was 72-60 with 1:20 to play. The Cowgirls would get a defensive stop after that and salted the final minute away from there. Fertig scored 15 of Wyoming’s 30 fourth quarter points while Pedersen added eight.
Fertig’s 27 came on 9-of-16 shooting from the field as she also made a career-best nine free throws on the night. It is the fourth consecutive game and fifth time in the last six that Fertig has scored 20-or-more.
Three other Cowgirls finished in double figures as Pedersen scored 15 while Grace Ellis and Weidemann added 12 and 11, respectively. Ellis tied a career-high by grabbing 11 rebounds in the contest, recording the second double-double of her career.
“I called that timeout with 6:20 remaining and I told that five we had out there on the floor ‘we’re rolling with you guys,’” continued Ezell. “I looked at Allyson and I asked, ‘can you give me this 6:20 because we’re going to go to you every single time.’ Credit to her, she said, ‘absolutely, put it on me, I’ll take it’ and she did. There’s no doubt.”
For the game, Wyoming shot 44.2-percent (23-for-52) and went 6-of-14 from 3-point range. The Rams, meanwhile, shot 40.4-percent (23-for-57) and made nine 3-pointers on 23 attempts. The Cowgirls’ big advantage came at the free-throw line as they shot 24-of-26 at the line while CSU went 5-for-8. UW held a 34-26 edge in points in the paint and had a 10-0 margin in second-chance points. Wyoming had a plus-15 advantage in rebounding, including plus-five on the offensive glass.
With the win, Wyoming has reached 20 victories in a season for the first time since 2018-19. It also marks the first time since that same season that the Cowgirls have tallied 13 conference wins. The victory also secures UW the No. 2 seed in March’s Mountain West Tournament. The Cowgirls open postseason play March 6 at 6 p.m., Mountain Time.