Cowgirls Start Strong and Finish Stronger in Win Over UC Davis

This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five...
This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five games since the 2017-2018 season.(Tyler Davis, UW AthMarketing)
Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 11:36 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming Cowgirls started off strong and then closed the game even stronger Saturday afternoon in a 67-48 victory over UC Davis at the Pacific Tiger Turkey Tip-Off. Wyoming shot an incredible 8-for-9 from the floor in the fourth quarter and hit four 3-pointers to close-out the victory.

Cowgirl veterans, Grace Ellis and Quinn Weidemann took over in the game’s final four minutes, scoring Wyoming’s (3-2) final 15 points, to stretch an eight-point lead into the 19-point victory. After an uncharacteristic two missed free throws from Weidemann, Ellis was able to get the offensive rebound and kick it out to Weidemann for a 3-pointer to push the Cowgirl lead to 55-44 with 4:05 remaining. After that, Weidemann would get a driving layup and hit a pair at the free-throw line to make it 59-44. After that, a pair of Ellis 3-pointers made it 65-48 with just 1:31 to play. Weidemann would then salt it away with another layup with 46 seconds left for the game’s final score.

Unlike in Friday’s loss to Pacific, the Cowgirls came out strong, hitting 50-percent of their shots (8-16) and led by as many as nine, 18-9 in the game’s first 10 minutes. UW led 19-14 after the first. In the second quarter, the Aggies (2-3) would cut the deficit down to 25-21 with four minutes left in the half, before a 7-0 UW run gave the Cowgirls what was their biggest lead of the game until late in the fourth, 32-21. UC Davis got the half’s last two buckets and Wyoming had a 32-25 advantage at the half.

In the third, the Aggies continued to cut into the Wyoming lead, but could never tie it up or take the lead, as the Cowgirls led from start-to-finish Saturday. The Aggies would trim the deficit to just 40-37 heading into the fourth quarter. UW responded to begin the fourth, scoring the first two baskets and then never looked back.

“I have to give the girls a lot of credit for getting off to a fast start today and the way we came out to begin,” said Head Coach Heather Ezell.

“I was proud with the effort they played with to open the game. We talked about it yesterday, we knew we would have a quick turnaround and we talked about responding. We worked as a team really well on defense, it was a total team effort. The big thing today was, we had that toughness in our eyes.”

Weidemann and Ellis led the way for what was a balanced offensive attack. Weidemann scored a game-high 18 on 6-of-11 shooting and 3-for-6 from 3-point range. Ellis, meanwhile, had 17 and hit 6-of-10 from the field and made a career-best three 3-pointers, going perfect from beyond-the-arc. Off the bench, Marta Savic once again gave the Cowgirls a big boost as she finished in double figures with 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Allyson Fertig led the way with nine boards and had nine points, while Ellis added seven rebounds. Tommi Olson led the Cowgirls with four assists while Malene Pedersen had seven points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in the win.

For the game, the Cowgirls shot a season-best 46.2-percent (24-52) and went 6-of-17 from 3-point land. UC Davis was held to just 18-for-58 shooting (31-percent) and went 5-of-23 from beyond-the-arc. The Cowgirls also held down one the nation’s best scorers in UC Davis’ Evanne Turner. Turner entered the contest averaging 22 points per game this season and was held to just 11 against the Cowgirls.

Wyoming ended up outscoring the Aggies 28-20 in points in the paint and 15-9 in points off turnovers. The Cowgirls committed just eight miscues on the day as the Aggies had 11. UW also had a 39-34 edge in team rebounding.

The Cowgirls now return home for their second three-game homestand of the season. Wyoming welcomes in Montana State for a 6:30 p.m., contest Friday, December 2 in Laramie.