Cowgirls Picked Fifth in the Mountain West

by staff–19 Nov ’20

The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the annual Mountain West preseason poll announced Thursday by the league office and is voted on by the league’s coaches and a select group of media members.

The Cowgirls, who received a total of 173 points in the poll, return three student-athletes that started 10 or more games last season, including two, Alba Sanchez Ramos and Quinn Weidemann, which started in all 29 contests in 2019-20. Sanchez Ramos and Weidemann are also UW’s two returning leading scorers, having averaged 10.2 points per game a season ago. Tommi Olson is the other returning starter to this season’s squad. Olson led the Cowgirls with 36 steals last season and was second on the team with 72 assists.

Defending regular season champion Fresno State was tabbed as the preseason favorite with a total of 266 points and received 22 of the 26 first-place votes. San Jose State was picked second (239) and received two first-place votes while Boise State (221) and San Diego State (185) were tabbed third and fourth, respectively and each garnered a first-place nod.

In addition to the returning trio of starters, the Cowgirls also return four players who saw action last season in McKinley Bradshaw, Emily Buchanan, Jaye Johnson and Paige Toomer. UW also has a total of eight newcomers this season in freshmen Lexi Bull (Pocatello, Idaho), Grace Ellis (Brisbane, Australia), Landri Hudson (Aurora, Colo.), Paula Salazar (Barcelona, Spain), Marta Savic (Zagreb, Croatia) and Ola Ustowska (Kartuzy, Poland) and a pair of transfers in Dagny Davidsdottir (Hveragerdi, Iceland), who is grad transfer from Niagara and Iris Tsafara (Athens, Greece) who spent a season at South Florida prior to arriving in Laramie.

The Cowgirls are coming off a 17-12 season last year, including a 12-6 mark and a third-place finish in the MW. UW advanced to the semifinal round of the Mountain West Tournament last season, before bowing out to eventual tournament champion, Boise State, 79-71.

Wyoming is led by Head Coach Gerald Mattinson, who is in his second season at the helm of the Cowgirls. UW opens the season December 5 as Denver comes to town to tip-off the 2020-21 season.

Predicted Order of Finish (1st-place votes):
1. Fresno State (22)         266
2. San Jose State (2)        239
3. Boise State (1)              221
4. San Diego State (1)     185
5. Wyoming                        173
6. New Mexico                  145
7. Air Force                         120
8. Colorado State             117
9. UNLV                                111
10. Nevada                         95
11. Utah State                   44

Preseason All-Mountain West Team:
Mallory McGwire, Sr., C, Boise State
Haley Cavinder, So., G, Fresno State
Maddi Utti, Sr., F, Fresno State
Sophia Ramos, Jr., G, San Diego State
Ayzhiana Basallo, Jr., G, San Jose State

Preseason Player of the Year:
Maddi Utti, Sr., F, Fresno State

Preseason Freshman of the Year:
Asia Avinger, G, San Diego State

Preseason Newcomer of the Year:
LaTascya Duff, Jr., G, New Mexico