* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team put on a clinic on both ends of the floor in an 84-52 win over South Dakota in the Super 16 Round of the WNIT Friday night in the Arena-Auditorium in front of over 3,300 fans.

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The Cowgirls shot nearly 55-percent from the floor in the victory while holding the Coyotes to just 27.3-percent on the night.

“Credit to our team tonight,” said Head Coach Heather Ezell.

“They really competed, and they stuck with what was working, which was going inside. The Crowd was great tonight, the atmosphere was awesome. We’ve go the best fans in the country and I hope we can see them all again Monday night.”

The two teams opened the contest trading buckets. Three consecutive hoops from the Cowgirls gave them an early 8-4 lead. Wyoming led 20-11 with 2:33 left in the first quarter after an Emily Mellema corner 3-pointer led to a South Dakota timeout. After the timeout, UW took an 11-point lead before the quarter ended and held a 24-13 lead after one.

Wyoming opened the second by taking a 14-point lead in the frame on a Marta Savic hook shot. USD started finding its range from beyond-the-arc though as UW led 32-21 at the media timeout. Following the timeout, the Cowgirl offense was stuck in mud for a couple of minutes before five-straight from McKinley Dickerson brought the lead back up to 37-23, sparking a late UW run in the half. Wyoming led 41-23 at the break after ending the half on a 9-0 run.

An Allyson Fertig layup opened the scoring in the third quarter as the lead ballooned to 20. The Coyotes got to the line frequently to open the half, helping South Dakota to cut the Cowgirl lead down to 16 in the frame. UW led though, 53-35 at the media timeout as its offensive efficiency continued to be high. Out of the timeout, Wyoming continued to get layups while USD continued going to the line. The Cowgirl lead was 63-40 after three as they had an answer every time South Dakota went on a bit of a run in the quarter.

The Cowgirls continued to pour it on to open the fourth, as South Dakota called a timeout with 8:41 left as the lead was up to 67-40. The lead was as many as 41 the rest of the game as UW continued to click on both ends of the court and didn’t let off the gas.

Wyoming had five players score in double figures in the same game for the first time since February of 2020 in Friday’s romp. Fertig led the way with her 13th career game with 20-or-more points as she had a game-high 24 on 11-of-14 shooting. Fertig also recorded her fifth double-double in the last six games as she pulled down 11 boards and also added a pair of blocks defensively.

Mellema and Malene Pedersen were the other starters in double figures, scoring 11 and 10, respectively. Off the bench, Marta Savic led UW reserves with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists on 6-of-7 shooting. Dickerson, meanwhile, had 12 and made 5-of-10 shots. Mellema and Madi Symons led the Cowgirls with four assists each. The four dimes from Symons are a career-best for her.

Overall, the Cowgirls scored 32 bench points in the win and outscored the Coyotes 54-20 in points in the paint. The 54 points inside tied a season-high for Wyoming. The Cowgirls also enjoyed a 13-4 advantage in points off turnovers and collected eight more rebounds than USD.

“We know from the beginning that we wanted to work through Allyson and Marta tonight. At first, they didn’t bring the double and Al was able to make easy work of that. What we really emphasized to Al and Marta was, ‘get to your spot’. If you make a quick move, they can’t bring a double.” continued Ezell.

Up next, Wyoming will host Minnesota at 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 1. Tickets for Monday’s contest go on sale at the UW Ticket Office at 10 a.m., Saturday.

The ticket office will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, will be closed for Easter Sunday and will be open again at 8 a.m., Monday. Season ticket holders can go online already tonight (Friday) to claim their tickets for Monday’s game. Tickets can be purchased online at www.GoWyo.com/Tickets, over the phone at 307-766-7220 or in-person at the Wyoming Ticket Office.

Courtside seats will cost $50, general admission tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for you and students. Monday will be the first game played in the month of April in program history.

POKES: The Seven Best Games In The History Of The Wyoming-CSU Border War Rivalry (Naturally, they were all Wyoming wins)