by staff–12 Feb ’21
The Wyoming Cowgirls were able to even up their record Thursday night at home as the Cowgirls defeated Utah State in the opening game of a two-game series, 68-56. With the win, Wyoming improves to 9-9 overall and 7-8 in Mountain West play. UW never trailed in the contest.
McKinley Bradshaw led the Cowgirls with 18 points off the bench as she shot 7-of-15 from the floor while Dagny Davidsdottir had a 14-point, eight-rebound performance on the night as they were the only two Cowgirls in double figures. Marta Savic added nine points in just six minutes of action while Alba Sanchez Ramos and Quinn Weidemann each chipped in with six points. Sanchez Ramos continued her rebounding tear as of late in the win, grabbing a career-best 13 boards. Weidemann added a season-best six assists on the night.
“I’m pleased that we came back and responded from last weekend,” said Head Coach Gerald Mattinson postgame.
“I’m pleased that we’re scoring points finally. That’s five games in a row now where we’ve scored pretty consistently. We left some points on the table, maybe 10 or 12 more. Those are the types of baskets we’ve got to start making now, the ones that turn a 15-point lead into a 20-plus lead. We have to make the easy ones because that makes the game easier.”
UW shot 36.1 percent from the floor Thursday (26-for-72) and hit 8-of-27 from 3-point range for a 29.6 percent clip. The Cowgirls held USU (4-12, 2-9 MW) to just 34.4 percent (21-for-61) from the field and 6-of-18 (33 percent) from beyond-the-arc. Both teams shot the ball well at the free-throw line as Wyoming went 8-for-10 and the Aggies shot 8-of-9.
The Cowgirls did most of their damage Thursday night on the defensive end, forcing Utah State into 16 turnovers and scoring 19 points off those turnovers. USU scored just three points on 10 Wyoming miscues. Wyoming also had a 36-28 advantage in points in the paint and outscored the Aggies 11-5 on second-chance points.
Wyoming got off to a quick start in the contest as Davidsdottir scored each of the first three field goals for the Cowgirls, while Weidemann’s 3-pointer with 6:31 in the first quarter put the Cowgirls up 9-2 and forced a Utah State timeout. USU would reel Wyoming back in to make it an 11-9 game before a 8-2 run to close out the first put the Cowgirls up 19-11.
In the second quarter, Utah State eventually tied things up at 21-21 after beginning the frame on a 10-2 run before a quick run by the Cowgirls, thanks to a 3-point play by Bradshaw and Weidemann’s second 3-pointer of the night put UW back in front 30-23 with 2:18 to go in the half. After a USU basket, Davidsdottir hit a pair at the line with under a second to go in the half to give the Cowgirls a 32-25 lead going into halftime.
In the third, the Cowgirls put some distance between them and the Aggies, outscoring the Aggies 18-9 in the period. The Brown and Gold scored the first eight points of the second half and stretched the lead to 40-25 with 7:44 to play in the quarter. Wyoming eventually led by as many as 19 points in the frame, 49-30 with 2:47 to go after another old fashioned 3-point play from Bradshaw. UW led 50-34 after three quarters of play.
“At halftime we talked about coming out in the second half and playing well and really getting after it that first five minutes, and we did that both ways. I thought we were good defensively during that stretch and that led to some easy baskets for us and gave us a little bit of momentum,” said Mattinson.
Utah State tried to make a game of things in the fourth, cutting the Cowgirl lead down to 10, 54-44, with 5:15 to play and then making things a nine-point game (56-47) with 4:48 to go. At that point however, the Cowgirls went on a quick 7-0 streak thanks to a pair of free throws from Davidsdottir, a 3-pointer by Sanchez Ramos and a layup by Tommi Olson to lengthen the lead back up to 63-47 with 2:02 to play. The Aggies would eventually narrow the lead back down to 11, but with just 39 seconds to play in the game.
With the win, Wyoming improves to 7-2 at home on the season and will look for its third conference series sweep in the AA this season as game two tips at 2 p.m., Saturday.
POST GAME AUDIO WITH SENIOR DAGNY DAVIDSDOTTIR…..
POST GAME AUDIO WITH HEAD COACH GERALD MATTINSON…..