WNIT allows Cowgirls to get younger players experience and create future at-large NCAA bids for Mountain West

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 12:10 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Cowgirls basketball team is back in action later in the week to kick off their WNIT play.

They will face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday, and head coach Heather Ezell sees this as an opportunity to not only benefit the Cowgirls’ future NCAA tournament chances, but also the conference as a whole.

”We want to continue to grow. We want to get to a two-bid league, and be able to represent the whole Mountain West in the NCAA Tournament. But being able to play postseason-- you got five teams here between the WNIT and the NCAA Tournament-- we can all make runs, and that just continues to show the strength of the Mountain West,” Ezell said.

The Cowgirls lost to UNLV in the Mountain West Tournament championship, and while they fell short of making the big dance they have an opportunity to make another deep run in the WNIT after making it to the third round last season.

On top of continuing to showcase the depth of their conference, this also provides a chance for some of the younger players to develop even further for next year. Ezell specifically mentioned guards Emily Mellema and Malene Pedersen and forward Tess Barnes as players who could greatly benefit from the experience.

”You know Emily and Tess, having the run that we did in the WNIT last year, they’re ready to improve on that and have a bigger role in that. Somebody like Malene who just loves playing, she comes out every day and just wants to continue to play basketball, grow her freshman year, and continue to finish on a high note,” Ezell said.

Their opening game will tip off on Friday at 6:30 pm at the Dome of Doom.