Wyoming Claims Fifth Straight Road Victory
* University of Wyoming press release
BOISE, Idaho – The Wyoming Cowgirls extended their road winning streak to five consecutive Saturday afternoon with a hard-fought physical battle with Boise State, winning 69-62. The Cowgirls, who won for just the third time ever in Boise, were without leading-scorer Quinn Weidemann and outscored the Broncos 19-9 in the fourth quarter.
Allyson Fertig got the Cowgirls’ (14-7, 7-3 MW) first two baskets of the game as the first quarter was a physical battle to begin. Malene Pedersen accounted for the next seven points for Wyoming after that, as the Cowgirls led 15-9 at the first quarter media timeout. UW went on a 13-2 scoring run over 3:15 in the first after Boise State opened the game going up 7-2. Following the timeout, the Broncos got things going again offensively, thanks to hitting the offensive glass before Pedersen’s second 3-poiner of the game pushed UW back out to a 20-16 lead before the end of the quarter.
Boise State came out strong to open the second quarter, tying things up at 20-20 before a Grace Ellis 3-pointer put the Cowgirls back in front. That three began an 8-0 run for Wyoming, leading to a Bronco timeout with 6:52 left in the half and a 28-20 Cowgirl advantage. After the timeout, Tess Barnes, who made her first-career start Saturday, hit her second consecutive 3-pointer to extend the run and the lead to double digits. BSU would cut into the lead the rest of the half as the Cowgirls began to turn the ball over and the lead was down to 38-33 in favor of Wyoming at halftime.
Each team was hot from beyond-the-arc in the first half, with the Cowgirls going 5-for-10 and Boise State making 4-of-5. The Broncos, who shot just 37-percent overall in the first 20 minutes, were aided at the free-throw line by going 9-of-10. UW went 5-for-6 at the stripe and shot 48.3-percent from the field in the first half.
The third quarter, like the first two, began with a strong Boise State start as it tied things at 40-40. After that, back-to-back hoops from the Cowgirls made it 44-40 with 4:26 left in the third. After the third quarter media timeout, the Broncos took their first lead since early in the first quarter, 50-48, thanks to a 10-3 run with 1:25 left in the frame. Boise State led 53-50 heading into the fourth.
Tommi Olson rattled in a 3-poiner to open the fourth quarter before BSU scored the next four points to go back up by four. The Cowgirls would get to within one, 59-58 with 6:30 to play on a Pedersen corner 3-pointer and then reclaimed the lead on an Olson twisting layup on the next possession. After that, UW would continue the run on a Marta Savic putback before a Barnes 3-pointer pushed the Cowgirls in front 65-59 with under four left. Following the media timeout, UW would go up 69-62 with under two minutes to play before physical play from both teams kept the game at that score with 27.2 seconds left. Out of a timeout, Boise would just miss a 3-pointer, Wyoming would get the rebound and run out the rest of the game from there.
UW, again shot the ball well in the contest, hitting 27-of-54 for an even 50-percent. The Cowgirls were 9-of-17 from 3-point range, breaking out of their cold outside shooting slump of late. Boise State, meanwhile, shot 34-percent from the field and hit 7-of-16 from deep, but missed its final six attempts from beyond-the-arc. The Broncos went 17-for-22 at the free-throw line but missed three of their last four attempts. UW went 6-of-9 at the stripe.
It was a balanced Cowgirl effort as four finished in double figures. Malene Pedersen led all scorers with 17 in the contest on 7-of-11 shooting and 3-for-3 from deep. Fertig as a board shy of a double-double as she went for 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Grace Ellis and Mellema went for 11 and 10 points respectively in the win. Ellis had a great all-around game as she grabbed seven rebounds, dished-out three assists and had a block and a steal. Mellema, meanwhile, added three assists and scored in double figures for the fifth time in the last six contests. Barnes, who filled in for Quinn Weidemann in the starting lineup, had nine points, six rebounds and, along with Olson, had a team-best four assists.
Boise State outscored the Cowgirls 23-9 in points off turnovers and had 35 bench points to Wyoming’s 14. UW had a 34-24 points in the paint advantage and ended up out-rebounding the league’s best rebounding team, 36-28 on the day.
The Cowgirls return home for their next contest as San Jose State comes to Laramie for a 6:30 p.m., contest Thursday, Feb. 2.