* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls surged late and got a 24-point performance from Allyson Fertig Saturday afternoon on Senior Day, as Wyoming bested Fresno State, 62-51.

The Cowgirls held the Bulldogs to just 3-of-13 shooting in the fourth and forced five turnovers in the game’s final 10 minutes.

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“I was a little disappointed the way we started the game on the defensive end,” said Head Coach Heather Ezell postgame.

“But then we settled in and made them take tough shots. We were really defending today, getting in the gaps, making passes and different things tough for them. Holding a team to 51, and eight points in the fourth quarter, that’s a great defensive effort.”

Fresno State got off to a strong start and took an early 9-5 lead. The Bulldogs led 12-8 at the first media timeout as they came out shooting hot from 3-point range. Following the timeout, the Cowgirls hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take their first lead of the game. Wyoming extended the lead later in the frame out to four. UW led 16-14 after one.

The second quarter began with the two teams trading scores back-and-forth before five consecutive points from Fertig opened up a 25-18 Cowgirl lead and led to a Fresno timeout with 6:23 left in the half. After the timeout, the Bulldogs surged back in front, 29-28. A quick four points back from Fertig again put Wyoming in the lead with under two minutes to play in the second. Another Fertig layup and a driving runner from Emily Mellema gave the Cowgirls a 36-31 lead at the half.

The second half opened slowly on the offensive end for both teams, especially for the Cowgirls, who committed multiple turnovers. UW held onto a 40-38 lead at the media timeout. Out of the media, the turnover bug continued to plague Wyoming, but a three-point play from Fertig helped keep it out front, 45-40. A Tess Barnes 3-pointer on the next possession gave the Cowgirls their biggest lead of the game. A Fresno State 3-pointer of its own ended the quarter as UW led 48-43 after three.

Wyoming hit a pair of midrange jumpers to open the scoring in the fourth while the Bulldogs knocked down a three. The Cowgirls led 54-46 at the final media timeout. Following the timeout, the two teams traded layups as UW built a double-digit lead with a little over four minutes left as Fresno State called a timeout. The final four minutes of the game were mostly controlled by Wyoming as it put the clamps on at the defensive end. The Bulldogs went more than 4:30 minutes in the fourth without scoring before a 3-pointer with under a minute left ended the drought. The Cowgirls led by as many as 12 in the waning minutes of the contest.

Saturday was the 12th 20-point outing of Fertig’s career. She also recorded her ninth double-double of the season as she led the way with 10 rebounds. Fertig ended the game 7-of-11 from the floor and set a career-high with 10 makes at the free-throw line.

Barnes and Mellema also scored in double figures in the win. Barnes finished with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting and made all three of her 3-point attempts. Barnes, along with Fertig, also led the Cowgirls with two blocks on the day. Mellema closed with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists. Malene Pedersen also dished out four dimes in the contest.

Wyoming shot 48.8-percent from the floor and made 5-of-13 from beyond-the-arc. Fresno shot just 19-of-60 (31.7-percent) from the field and hit 8-of-23 from 3-point range. The Cowgirls had a plus-10 advantage in made free throws and doubled-up the Bulldogs in points in the paint, 32-16. Despite turning the ball over six more times than Fresno State, UW still had a 10-9 edge in points off turnovers. The Cowgirls also were plus-nine on the boards.

The Cowgirls look to continue the momentum heading into the regular season finale. Wyoming travels to San Diego State for a Tuesday contest at 7 p.m., Mountain Time.

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