* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls closed their three-game homestand Tuesday with a 64-44 Education Day victory over Regis in front of nearly 4,000 local elementary students. UW has now won back-to-back contests.

“We wanted to improve as a team today and continue to move forward with our game both offensively and defensively,” said UW head coach Heather Ezell postgame.

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Grace Ellis led all scorers with 16 points on the day as she shot 6-of-9 from the field and hit 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Malene Pedersen also finished in double figures for the Cowgirls (2-2) as she tallied 12 points and grabbed a season-high nine rebounds in the win. Allyson Fertig and Emily Mellema chipped in with seven points each.

Wyoming forced 10 Regis turnovers, leading to 14 points while the Rangers scored just four points on six Cowgirl miscues. The Cowgirls also outscored Regis 36-26 in points in the paint, 23-8 in second-chance points and didn’t allow a fast-break bucket. I was really happy with the way we took care of the ball. That was an emphasis for us coming into the game. We talked about that and our transition defense. Regis is a team that averaged 16 points per game in transition during their wins, I thought we did a good job on that,” continued Ezell.

UW kept Regis at arms-length for most of the contest, leading from start-to-finish on the day. The Cowgirls closed the first quarter on a 6-0 run thanks to three baskets in the paint and led 18-9 after one. In the second, after Regis got the first hoop, the Cowgirls went on a 16-2 run to put their imprint on the game and led 34-13 with 1:21 remaining. UW took a 37-19 lead into halftime.

The Rangers opened the second half playing well, outscoring the Cowgirls in the third quarter, 16-13. RU cut the deficit down to 11, 42-31, with 5:50 remaining before Wyoming lengthened the lead back out to 50-35 after the game’s first 30 minutes.

In the fourth, after Regis opened with a free throw, the Cowgirls cemented the game, thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Tess Barnes and Ellis, putting Wyoming out front 56-36 with seven minutes remaining. From there, the Cowgirls continued the run, going back up by 26 points with hoops from Tommi Olson and Quinn Weidemann. Regis would get the lead to under 20 with 1:38 to go, but that was as close as things got the rest of the way.

Wyoming will travel to California to close Thanksgiving Week as the Cowgirls will play in the Pacific Tiger Turkey Tip-Off. UW faces the host, Pacific at 4 p.m., MT Friday before closing with a 2 p.m., MT contest Saturday against UC Davis.

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