Cowgirl’s Defense Dominate in Win Over Air Force

photo courtesy of Wyoming Athletics Department

by staff–19 Jan ’21

For the second consecutive game, the Wyoming Cowgirls got a big game from Dagny Davidsdottir, and as a team, had a big second half against Air Force Monday night on their way to a 59-46 victory inside the AA.

For the second straight game, Davidsdottir tied a career-high with 16 points in the win and also tied a career-best mark with 12 rebounds. Davidsdottir went 8-fo-12 from the floor and also recorded a pair of blocks on the night as well.

The Cowgirls (6-5, 4-4 MW) had a big second half, especially the third quarter when they outscored Air Force (3-8, 1-5 MW) 19-8 in the first 10 minutes after halftime. UW hit 8-of-15 shots in the quarter, while Air Force went just 2-of-9. The Cowgirls led by as many as 13 in the quarter, 41-28 with 3:14 left to play after opening the half on a 17-5 run, and led 43-31 heading into the final quarter.

In the fourth, the Falcons would cut the deficit to single digits, 43-34 with 7:43 to go in the game, but that would be as close as they would get as UW would respond with a 14-5 run over the next six minutes, and built as much as an 18-point lead, 57-39 with just 1:39 to play.

“We came out in the second half and made a couple of shots and we got a couple of easy looks as well,” said Head Coach Gerald Mattinson postgame.

“But the most important thing is we kept defending, if you can get 3-or-4 stops in a row on a team that pressures like Air Force and can extend the lead a little bit, it takes a lot of pressure off your team and then that helps you offensively.”

The Falcons actually got off to a great start Monday, scoring the first seven points of the game in the first 3-plus minutes to take a 7-0 lead. But, UW quickly found its footing thanks to back-to-back hoops from Davidsdottir, followed by consecutive 3-pointers by Quinn Weidemann and Jaye Johnson to give the Cowgirls a 10-9 lead with 3:29 remaining. The score was tied 12-12 after the first 10 minutes.

In the second, AFA would build its lead back up to five, 21-16 with 6:48 to play in the half, but the Cowgirls would reel that deficit in, and eventually took a 24-23 lead into halftime thanks to three consecutive free throws from McKinley Bradshaw and Tommi Olson.

“We’re going to continue to take it one game at a time. But right now to me, with this crazy year, winning and losing will take care of itself. We just have to keep playing hard and a little bit smarter and better each time. If we can do that and make it to the end of the season, I think we’ll be a pretty tough out,” continued Mattinson.

Johnson and Alba Sanchez Ramos had nice nights offensively for the Cowgirls as they scored 11 and 10, respectively. Johnson went 4-of-6 from the floor and made a pair of 3-pointers while also notching a pair of steals defensively. Tommi Olson once again had a solid, all-around performance as she scored eight on 3-of-5 shooting, dished out a game-high six assists and also tallied three steals on the night.

The Cowgirls really put the clamps down defensively on the night, as the Falcons shots just 26 percent (15-for-58) from the floor, including just 6-of-25 in the second half. Wyoming meanwhile, shot 48 percent (23-for-48) from the floor and went 5-of-12 from 3-point range. The Cowgirls were an impressive 14-for-25 (56 percent) from the floor in the final 20 minutes.

Both teams grabbed 35 rebounds on the night with AFA having a 9-4 edge in second-chance points. The Cowgirls however were dominant inside, outscoring the Falcons 30-6 in points in the paint while also notching an 11-5 edge in fast break points on the night.

Next up, the Cowgirls will finish their six-game in 14-day stretch with a trip to Reno to face Nevada January 22 and 24. Friday’s contest is set to tip at 6 p.m., Mountain Time.