* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team returns to action after a week off with a trip to The Pit to face New Mexico in a 7 p.m., contest Wednesday, Jan. 17 in Albuquerque.

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Wyoming is looking to improve to 5-0 in league play, its best start since 2016-17.

Wyoming (9-6, 4-0 MW) is coming off a 72-55 victory last Wednesday over San Diego State in Laramie. Tess Barnes led a balanced Cowgirl attack with 17 points in the win over the Aztecs. Barnes, who set a career-high with nine rebounds in the contest, tied her career-best with five made 3-pointers.

Emily Mellema added 12 points against SDSU while Allyson Fertig recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 boards.

Maren McKenna and Marta Savic added nine and eight points, respectively off the bench.

In the last six games, Barnes has started to heat up offensively for the Cowgirls. Barnes has made multiple 3-pointers in five of six of those games and has made a career-best five 3-pointers, twice. Over the last six, Barnes is second on the team averaging 12 points per game on 51-percent shooting from the floor (26-51) and 43.2-percent (16-37) from 3-point range.

In conference play this season, UW has a 13.5 scoring margin and is holding its opponents to just 50.3 points per game.

Cowgirl opponents are shooting under 36-percent in league action and 27.4-percent from beyond-the-arc. Wyoming is averaging just under 64 points per game in MW play and is shooting nearly 49-percent from the field.

Overall this season, Fertig is averaging a team-best 13.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 59-percent. Defensively, Fertig has a team-leading 25 blocks.

Malene Pedersen is also averaging double-digit points this season, scoring right at 10 per game. Pedersen is second on the team with 33 assists and 13 steals. Barnes is averaging 9.6 points per game and has a team-high 28 made 3-pointers. Emily Mellema is averaging nearly eight points a contest and leads the Cowgirls with 42 assists and 23 steals.

New Mexico (11-6, 2-2 MW) has a balanced offensive attack in 2023-24, as four Lobos average over 11.5 points per game. Nyah Wilson leads UNM averaging just under 13 points per game. Viane Cumber is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 points a contest and is averaging six rebounds per game.

Paula Reus also averages six rebounds a game and is averaging 11.6 points per game. Aniyah Augmon also averages 11.6 a contest and leads the Lobos with 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

Charlotte Kohl leads the squad averaging 8.1 rebounds per game and has a team-best 34 blocks (2.0 per game).

As a team, the Lobos average nearly 64 points per game and are allowing 60.6 a contest. UNM is shooting the ball at a 37.4-percent clip overall and is hitting nearly 28-percent of its shots from beyond-the-arc. New Mexico has a plus-four rebounding margin and holds its opponents to just 38-percent shooting in 2023-24. The Lobos crash the offensive glass, recording over 12 offensive boards per game on the year. New Mexico also is one of the least foul prone teams in the nation, fouling opponents just under 13 times per game.

The Lobos are tough as always at home, recording a 9-2 record at The Pit this season.

Wyoming trails in the all-time series 44-40 overall with the last six meetings being split at three games each.

The Cowgirls are 11-26 in Albuquerque in program history with a 4-2 mark at The Pit, dating back to 2017. UW and the Lobos split last season’s two meetings, with each winning at home. The Cowgirls won 78-69 in Laramie in January and lost 71-62 in February on the road. In the last 15 matchups with UNM, dating back to March of 2015, Wyoming leads 9-6.

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