Cowgirls sink 17 3-pointers, Utah State
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls had arguably their best offensive performance of the season and one of their best defensive performances on the year as Wyoming hit a barrage of 3-pointers, 17 of them, and held Utah State to 31 percent shooting on the way to a 79-42 victory.
The 17 made 3-pointers are the third most for a single game in program history, UW recorded its third consecutive home series sweep with the win.
“I’m very proud and happy for my team, I thought that they played outstanding,” said UW head coach Gerald Mattinson postgame. “I thought they responded well to what we talked about doing yesterday. Not a lot of adjustments, but what we talked about defensively they executed. All year long we talked about shooting the ball and today we stepped up and shot the ball well.”
The Cowgirls (10-9, 8-8 MW) shot 28-for-59 from the floor, 47.5 percent and hit 17-of-32 (53 percent) from 3-point range on the day. The Aggies (4-13, 2-9 MW) hit just 15-of-48 shot attempts and went 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from beyond-the-arc.
McKinley Bradshaw and Quinn Weidemann had outstanding days offensively to lead the Cowgirls, scoring 23 and 21 points, respectively. The duo became the first set of Wyoming teammates to both score 20 or more points in the same game since January of 2019 when Weidemann (24) and Bailee Cotton (20) accomplished the feat against UNLV.
The tandem combined to go 16-for-21 from the floor and hit 10-of-13 3-pointers on the day. Bradshaw was 8-of-10 and 5-of-7 from deep. The five 3-pointers tied a career-best for Bradshaw while Weidemann went 8-for-11 from the floor and 5-of-6 from 3-point range, a season-high for her from beyond-the-arc. Weidemann also added two steals and a block on the defensive end.
Alba Sanchez Ramos chipped in with seven points in the win and Tommi Olson and Ola Ustowska added six points each. Olson added a team-high seven rebounds and had a game-best six steals defensively, setting a season-best mark for her in that category.
“I’m pleased we were able to do what we did today,” continued Mattinson. “Defensively, I can’t say enough about them. Like I told the team, if you hold a Division I team to three points in a quarter, that’s an outstanding effort by your team.”
Wyoming jumped on the Aggies early, outscoring Utah State 17-3 in the opening quarter. The three points allowed in the quarter are the third fewest given up by the Cowgirls to a Division I opponent since the women’s game moved from halves to quarters in 2016-17.
The Cowgirls led from start-to-finish Saturday and scored the first six points of the contest and led by 15, 17-2 with 2:02 remaining in the first quarter. In the second quarter, it was more of the same for UW as it lengthened the lead to as many as 20, 31-21 with 1:56 to play in the half on a Weidemann 3-pointer. Wyoming led at the half, 35-16.
In the second half, the Cowgirls really caught fire, opening the half with a 28-point third quarter and hitting six 3-pointers in the frame. The last one, came with three seconds left from Bradshaw and gave UW its biggest lead of the game up to that point, 63-32, going into the fourth.
In the fourth, the Cowgirls got their lead up to as many as 39 points, 77-38 with 4:47 left to play on Grace Ellis’ 3-pointer. Paula Salazar got the final bucket for the Cowgirls, a running layup with 43 seconds to play. A total of 10 Cowgirls scored in the win, a feat that Wyoming also accomplished Thursday night in the game one victory over USU.
The Cowgirls once again had a big scoring advantage in points off turnovers, scoring 26 on 21 Utah State turnovers. The 21 turnovers are a season-high forced by the Cowgirls this season. USU scored just four points off turnovers on 12 Wyoming miscues. Wyoming also had an 11-2 advantage on second-chance points, despite losing the offensive glass battle 11 to 9.
Wyoming now sets its sights on the regular season finale as New Mexico comes to town for a pair of contests. Game one of the series is set for Wednesday, Feb. 17 with game two Friday the 19th. Both games are set to tip at 6:30 p.m.
* University of Wyoming press release