Cowgirls Head to Mountain West Championships as No. 3 Seed

Sports News March 11, 2019



Cowgirls Head to Mountain West Championships as No. 3 Seed

LAS VEGAS, NV. – The Wyoming Cowgirls (20-7, 13-5 MW) will head to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Mountain West Tournament as the third seed. The Cowgirls have tied the school record with 13 conference wins, done for the third year in a row, and have reached 20 wins for the third-straight season. Wyoming will face the winner of Sunday’s game between Utah State (15-14, 10-8 MW) and Colorado State (8-21, 2-16 MW). Wyoming’s first game is on Monday, March 11, at 8:30 p.m. (PT).

The game will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network, and can be heard across the 25 stations of the Cowgirl Radio Network with Reece Monaco on play-by-play and Wyoming Hall of Famer Margie McDonald with color commentary.

The Cowgirls are entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed after going 20-7 this season and 13-5 in the Mountain West coming off a 50-57 loss against New Mexico in the season finale. The Cowgirls are led offensively by senior forward Marta Gomez who averages 15.7 points per game while adding 4.8 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Bailee Cotton averages nearly a double-double with 11.4 points per contest and pulling down a team best 8.8 rebounds per game. Cotton has also taken a team-leading 17 charges this season. Junior Taylor Rusk is scoring 9.6 points per contest while adding 90 assists and only 29 turnovers, the 11th-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. Freshman guard Karla Erjavec leads the team in the assist department with 101 on the year. Defensively, Erjavec has recorded 27 steals this season, while Cotton has 25 blocks and 37 steals.

Offensively, the Cowgirls are shooting at a 45.6 percent (685-of-1,502) clip from the field while shooting 39.2 percent (195-of-497) from three and 76.5 percent (280-of-366) from the free throw line to average 68.3 points per game. The Cowgirls average 16.0 assists and just 11.6 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting 41.0 percent (590-of-1,440) from the field, 30.9 percent (117-of-379) from three and 68.0 percent (227-of-334) from the free throw line to average 56.4 points per game. Cowgirl foes average 9.4 assists and 14.3 turnovers per game.

Head coach Joe Legerski is in his 16th year at the helm of the Cowgirls, and he has compiled a 309-184 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.

The Aggies enter the Mountain West Tournament as the No. 6 seed with a 15-14 record overall with a 10-8 ledger in conference games. Utah State will face Colorado State in the first round. The Aggies are led by Shannon Dufficy, who leads the team in points (15.7), rebounds (10.2) and steals (1.6). Hailey Bassett scored 9.8 points per game and pulls down 4.3 rebounds per contest, while Rachel Brewster scored 8.9 points and averages 3.9 rebounds per game. Eliza West directs the offense with 5.6 assists per game, while Deja Mason patrols the paint and averages 1.3 blocks per game.

Offensively, the Aggies are shooting 40.7 percent (696-of-1,711) from the field, 31.0 percent (153-of-493) from three and 70.0 percent (268-of-383) from the free throw line to average 62.5 points per game. Utah State averages 15.8 assists and 15.0 turnovers per contest. USU foes are shooting 38.4 percent (612-of-1,592) from the field, 31.2 percent (163-of-522) from three and 72.4 percent (349-of-482) from the free throw line to average 59.9 points per game. Aggie opponents average 11.5 assists and 15.7 turnovers per game.

Head coach Jerry Finkbeiner has a 94-122 record in seven years at Utah State, and a 568-364 record in 30 years as a Division I head coach.

The Cowgirls own the series lead over the Aggies, 21-9, and have won seven of the last nine matchups against Utah State. The two teams split the regular season meetings this year with each team winning at home. The two teams have never met in the MW Tournament.

The Rams enter the Mountain West Tournament as the No. 11 seed with an 8-21 record with a 2-16 ledger in Mountain West play. Lore Devos leads the Rams with 13.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Mollie Mounsey scores 10.7 points and pulls down 4.9 rebounds per game. Grace Colaivalu averages 4.5 assists per game to lead CSU, while Myanne Hamm and Tatum Neubert are forces defensively, averaging 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, respectively.

The Rams are shooting 38.3 percent (581-of-1,517) from the field, 29.8 percent (162-of-543) from three and 75.9 percent (258-of-340) from the free throw line to average 54.6 points per game. Colorado State averages 11.1 assists and 13.1 turnovers per contest. Opponents are shooting 36.8 percent (637-of-1,733) from the field, 33.1 percent (236-of-713) from three and 74.2 percent (256-of-345) from the free throw line. Rams foes average 14.0 assists and 12.7 turnovers per game.

Head coach Ryun Williams is 144-79 in seven seasons in Fort Collins. He owns a 402-271 overall record in 21 seasons as a Division I head coach.

Wyoming holds a 52-50 lead in the all-time series following their 56-32 win in Laramie to earn its first season sweep over Colorado State since the 2012-13 season. That season, Wyoming won the two regular season meetings and one more in the Mountain West Tournament. The two teams last met in the MW Tournament in 2014, a 95-92 triple overtime win for CSU.

The Cowgirls will either continue their run in the Mountain West Tournament, or wait to see if they are selected for post-season play.

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