Total Team Effort Pushes Cowgirls Past SJSU, 64-48
* University of Wyoming press release
SAN JOSE, Calif., – The Wyoming Cowgirls pulled out a tough, defensive battle Saturday afternoon on the road, defeating San Jose State 64-48. Emily Mellema was the only Cowgirl in double figures with 12, but five others scored eight or more in the victory.
The first quarter was disjointed offensively as both teams played strong defense. UW held a 10-7 lead after the first 10 minutes of the game. Wyoming turned the ball over six times in the first quarter while holding the Spartans to just 3-of-13 shooting.
In the second quarter, the Cowgirls continued to turn the ball over, with another six miscues in the frame. However, the inside-outside game was working for Wyoming in the quarter as the inside game got going with Allyson Fertig and Tommi Olson and Ola Ustowska both hit 3-pointers. UW led by as many as nine late in the half, 27-18 and took a 27-20 lead into halftime.
Wyoming (11-5, 4-1 MW) shot 43.5-percent from the floor and hit 4-of-9 from 3-point range but turned the ball over 12 times in the first half. The Cowgirl defense held San Jose to just 29.6-percent shooting and 2-of-7 from beyond-the-arc. SJSU had a 9-5 edge in points off turnovers in the first 20 minutes of the contest.
The second half began with the Spartans cutting the Wyoming lead down to 29-24 before back-to-back fast-break layups off of steals by Malene Pedersen and Quinn Weidemann forced a San Jose timeout with 6:07 left in the third and UW up 33-24.
After the timeout, the Spartans went on a bit of a run, cutting the Cowgirl lead down to just 35-32 with 2:31 left in the third. Ustowska would hit a pair of much-needed 3-pointers to push the Wyoming lead back out to 41-34 heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, the two teams opened by trading hoops as Tommi Olson’s third 3-pointer of the game put the Cowgirls in front 44-36 with under nine minutes to play.
After that, SJSU would answer, however, with six consecutive points to cut the UW lead down to just 44-42 with under seven minutes to play. After a pair of Quinn Weidemann free throws, the Cowgirls called timeout with 6:16 left.
Following the timeout, the Spartans would get a hoop before consecutive shots fell for the Brown & Gold to make it 50-44 with 4:41 left. Wyoming would get the lead back up to double digits thanks to a Weidemann layup off a steal and a pair of free throws from Mellema with under two and a half minutes to play.
Mellema would hit a pull-up jumper after a San Jose timeout, closing a 10-0 run for the Cowgirls over a 3:59 span late in the fourth. The final 1:22 of the contest was salted away by UW at the free-throw line with eight made freebies.
Despite turning the ball over 18 times, Wyoming outscored the Spartans 17-13 in points off turnovers. The Cowgirls would also have an advantage in points in the paint (26-18) and in bench points (23-20). UW shot 44.7-percent (21-47) from the field and hit 7-of-18 (38.9-percent) from beyond-the-arc.
The Wyoming defense held SJSU to just 30.2-percent (16-53) shooting and 3-of-12 from 3-point range. Both teams were solid at the charity stripe as the Cowgirls hit 15-of-16 with San Jose going 13-for-15.
“Contributions from pretty much everybody that saw minutes, which was awesome,” said associate head coach Ryan Larsen postgame. “I’m very happy for Ola, those were timely 3-pointers. Emily, she did a great job knocking down those free throws late. It’s hard to win and it’s really hard to win on the road.”
Mellema finished the game with the 12 points, all of which came in the final 2:34 of the contest as she hit a career-high 10 free throws in the contest.
Fertig, Olson, Ustowska and Weidemann all added nine points apiece in the victory while Pedersen chipped in with eight. Olson tallied four steals and a pair of assists as well. Marta Savic was big off the bench as she recorded career-highs with 15 points and four assists. Savic also added a block and a steal for the Cowgirls.
The Cowgirls will close-out their three-game road trip Monday night at Nevada as they look for their fifth-straight win.
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