Wyoming senior Bailee Cotton was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Sunday, as UW had three players receive honors from the conference.

Cotton became the third Wyoming player to win MW Defensive Player of the Year. She joins Hanna Zavecz and Brenda Pickup as Cowgirls who have received the accolade. Cotton was named to the All-Mountain West team for the first time in her career, while she was also named to the league’s All-Defensive team for a second straight year.

Cotton led the way for a Wyoming defense that allowed only 54.6 points per game in league games. That was No. 1 in the Mountain West. UW allowed opponents to shoot just 27.5 percent from three, which was tops in the conference. The Cowgirls also led the league in rebounding defense. In conference games, Cotton led Wyoming with 28 steals, 19 blocked shots, 121 defensive rebounds, and had 10 charges taken. The senior had five double-doubles in MW play and scored a career-high 20 points against UNLV Jan. 5. Cotton finished with an average of 11.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in the 18 conference games.

Joining Cotton on the All-MW team is fellow senior teammate Marta Gomez. She averaged 15.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during conference action. Gomez shot 55.7 percent from the field in MW games, 47.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 91.5 percent at the free throw line. She’s the only player in the league to be above 50 percent from the field, above 40 percent from three, and above 90 percent at the foul line. Gomez scored 20 points six times during conference play. Her career best of 28 points came against New Mexico on Jan. 19. She also had a pair of double-doubles during MW games.

The final honoree is freshman Karla Erjavec, who was named to the Mountain West All-Freshman team. Erjavec led the Cowgirls with 101 assists this season. She averaged 9.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and dished out 80 assists (4.4 per game) during MW play. She reached double figures eight times during conference games and had two 10-assist games. Erjavec is first Wyoming player with multiple 10-assist games in a season since Marquelle Dent in 2015-16. She even recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists versus San Jose State on March 4, 2019. Erjavec also had 12 steals and four blocks during league play.

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