Cowgirls Win Defensive Struggle in Denver
* University of Wyoming press release
DENVER -- The Wyoming Cowgirl women’s basketball team was victorious in its road debut Tuesday night. Wyoming rode its defense on its way to a 58-41 win at Denver. The Cowgirls held DU to just 29-8.-percent shooting from the field on the night.
The Cowgirls started out by missing six of their first seven shots as Denver held an early 6-3 lead. Following the first quarter media timeout, Wyoming continued to struggle shooting, but a great effort on the offensive glass got UW out front before the end of the quarter. The Cowgirls held a 9-8 lead after the first.
A Tess Barnes 3-pointer began the scoring in the second quarter as it was the first made 3-pointer of the contest for either team. After that though, both teams continued to struggle offensively as Wyoming took a 15-13 lead into the media. The rest of the half saw a little more offensive juice from the Cowgirls, thanks in large part to a couple of trips to the free-throw line. Wyoming extended its lead up to 23-16 at halftime.
Wyoming shot just 29-percent in the first half and went 2-of-13 from 3-point range. DU shot 26-percent from the field in the first 20 minutes and was just 2-for-16 from beyond-the-arc. The Cowgirls had a 6-0 edge in second change points in the first two quarters.
The Wyoming offense continued to struggle to open the third, but the Cowgirls continued to play stingy defense and made just enough plays on the offensive end to open the lead up to double digits, 29-19 with over six minutes to go in the quarter. However, Denver would respond thanks to Cowgirl turnovers and make back-to-back 3-pointers cutting the UW lead down to just four at the media timeout. Things trended back in the right direction for Wyoming out of the timeout as it built the lead back up to 37-25, its biggest of the night to that point. The Cowgirl advantage was even bigger heading into the fourth, 41-28 thanks to Malene Pedersen’s coast-to-coast layup to end the frame.
In the fourth, Wyoming built the lead up to as many as 16, the biggest of the game until the final minute. The Pioneers got the lead back down to single digits later in the quarter, but mostly, the Cowgirls controlled the rest of the contest. Although it wasn’t the prettiest at times, it was enough to get the job done on the road.
The Cowgirls were paced by three in double figures in the win and were led by Emily Mellema’s 15. Mellema had a solid all-around game as she added four rebounds, a game-high four assists and a pair of steals. Barnes and Pedersen ended the night with 12 each.
McKinley Dickerson had a solid night off the bench, leading UW reserves with seven in the win. Madi Symons, meanwhile, had four points and four boards. Although she did have a big night scoring the ball, with just four points, Allyson Fertig ended the night with 11 boards, four blocks and a steal.
Wyoming shot just under 36-percent from the field in the contest but shot nearly 46-percent in the second half. The Cowgirls enjoyed a big advantage at the free-throw line, continuing their stellar shooting at the stripe this season. Wyoming went 15-for-16 (94-percent) on the night while the Pioneers were just 1-of-5. The Cowgirls out-rebounded DU 43-33 in the game and enjoyed a 12-2 advantage in second-chance points. Wyoming held a slight edge in points in the paint, 24-20.
Next, the Cowgirls will look to make it a perfect 2-0 week on the road as they travel to face Gonzaga Saturday in a 3 p.m., tip.
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