Cowgirls Open Mountain West Play at Boise State on Wednesday

Sports News January 2, 2019



Cowgirls Open Mountain West Play at Boise State on Wednesday

LARAMIE, WY.  – The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team opens Mountain West play on the road against Boise State on Wednesday, Jan. 2, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT). The Broncos were picked first in the Mountain West’s annual preseason poll. Both teams enter the contest riding four-game winning streaks.

The game will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and on Stadium, 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 7-2 this season following a 77-70 win over a South Dakota State team that was earning votes in both national polls. The Cowgirls are led offensively by senior forward Marta Gomez who averages 16.2 points per game while shooting among the nation’s best from three-point range, 50.0 percent (27-of-54). Senior forward Bailee Cotton averages 11.7 points per contest and pulls down a team best 8.3 rebounds per game. Cotton has also taken a team-leading seven charges this season. Junior Taylor Rusk is scoring 9.9 points per contest while adding 31 assists and only nine turnovers. Senior guard Clara Tapia is in control of the Cowgirl offense, averaging a team-best 3.6 assists per game 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. Defensively, freshman guard Karla Erjavec has recorded 15 steals this season, while Cotton has six blocks and Gomez has five blocks.

Offensively, the Cowgirls are shooting at a 45.7 percent (245-of-536) clip from the field while shooting 42.9 percent (81-of-189) from three and 76.9 percent (93-of-121) from the free throw line to average 73.8 points per game. The Cowgirls average 15.7 assists and just 10.8 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting 42.6 percent (208-of-488) from the field, 36.4 percent (52-of-143) from three and 68.5 percent (74-of-108) from the free throw line to average 60.2 points per game. Cowgirl foes average 10.9 assists and 16.6 turnovers per game.

Head coach Joe Legerski is in his 16th year at the helm of the Cowgirls, and he has compiled a 296-179 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.

The Broncos own a 9-2 overall record, including a 5-1 mark at home and have won four consecutive games overall. Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year Riley Lupfer leads the way offensively with 11.9 points per game while adding 1.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest. Brady Hodgins scores 10.6 points each game and averages 1.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds each time out. Defensively, Joyce Harrell collects 5.0 rebounds per game to lead the Broncos, while A’Shanti Coleman and Harrell each have eight blocks on the season. Coleman also has 21 steals to lead the Broncos, as five different players have double-digit steals this season. The Broncos were picked to finish first in the Mountain West in the annual preseason poll conducted by the league.

Offensively, the Broncos are shooting 44.1 percent (319-of-724) from the field, 37.3 percent (100-of-268) from three point range and 72.2 percent (104-of-144) from the free throw line to average 76.6 points per game. Boise State averages 16.6 assists and 15.1 turnovers per contest. Defensively, opponents shoot 37.9 percent (246-of-649) from the field, 32.9 percent (72-of-219) from three and 71.2 percent (126-of-177) from the free throw line to average 62.7 points per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists and 20.3 turnovers per game against the Broncos.

Head coach Gordy Presnell is 252-169 during his 14 years at the helm of Boise State and 647-296 overall in 32 years as a Division I head coach.

The Cowgirls and Broncos enter their eighth season as conference rivals, and the teams are an even 7-7 during their tenure in the Mountain West. Overall, Boise State holds an 11-10 lead in the series that dates back to 1989. Last season, Wyoming picked up its first ever win in Boise with a 66-51 victory over the Broncos. However, Boise State took the game in Laramie, 67-63.

The Cowgirls will host their first Mountain West game of the season when the welcome UNLV to the Arena-Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 5. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (MT).

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