Cowgirls Get Ezell Her First Win in 68-45 Dismantling of Denver

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Via the Wyoming News Exchange

Fertig with a career-high 21 rebounds in the win, four in double figures

LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 18, 2022) – The Wyoming Cowgirls gave Head Coach Heather Ezell her first career victory in style Friday night as the Cowgirls ran past Denver, 68-45 at home. UW didn’t trail in the contest and led by as many as 33 points.

“It definitely felt good to get that first one out of the way,” said Ezell postgame.

“Our kids were ready to get that one in the win column and now start rolling. I thought they responded really well tonight after that Gonzaga loss. The way they started the game, I give them a lot of credit. They came out with a chip on their shoulder.”

Quinn Weidemann led all scorers with 18 points on the night while Allyson Fertig notched her first double-double of the season with 13 points and a career-high 21 rebounds. Those 21 rebounds are the first time a Cowgirl has gone for 20-plus boards in a single game since current UW assistant, Fallon Lewis had 21 against North Dakota nearly nine years ago. The 21 rebounds are tied for the fourth-most in program history in one contest. Fertig also had both UW blocks in the win.

Two other Cowgirls finished the win in double figures as Grace Ellis had 11 and Ola Ustowska tallied a season-high 10 off the bench. Malene Pedersen chipped in with six while Tommi Olson had an all-around solid performance. Olson finished the night with four points, eight rebounds and a trio of assists. Olson also notched three steals against the Pioneers and surpassed her mom, Elsa, on the program’s career steals list Friday night and now sits in 11th all-time with 151 career steals.

The Cowgirls made eight of the game’s first nine hoops and took an early 18-3 lead. DU started the game just 1-of-12 and had four turnovers. Wyoming held that same 18-3 lead after the first quarter as it finished the frame going just 1-for-10.

Denver opened the second with a 3-pointer, which was quickly answered on the other end by a Weidemann 3-pointer of her own. The Cowgirls led by as many as 23 points, 35-12, in the second as the first half domination continued. The Pioneers whittled the Wyoming lead down to 35-17 at halftime. The Cowgirls shot 41.2-percent from the field in the first half but went 5-for-11 from 3-point range. DU, meanwhile, shot just 22.2-percent in the first 20 minutes.

The second half began with another strong opening from the Cowgirls as they scored the first 15 points of the half and opened the lead up to 50-17. Wyoming continued to play well on both ends of the court the rest of the frame and carried a 55-27 lead into the fourth.

The fourth began like the first three quarters did, with a Cowgirl bucket as Ustowska drained her second 3-pointer of the contest. DU went on a 9-0 run after that to cut the deficit under 30. A Fertig three-point play ended the run as Wyoming went back to run-out-the-clock mode. The Cowgirls led 63-36 at the final media timeout. Another run from the Pioneers late made the score a bit closer in the end.

For the game, the Cowgirls held DU to just 26.4-percent shooting from the floor and 4-of-16 from beyond-the-arc. Wyoming had big scoring advantages in points off turnovers at 16-7, as well as points in the paint, 38-20. The Cowgirl bench also outscored DU reserves 16-5 on the night. Wyoming tallied a season-high 14 assists and eight steals in the win, while also committing just nine turnovers.

“We came out with a focus, our ‘Wyoming Toughness’. They showed it from the tip tonight, it was nice to not let the other team go on that 8-2 run to start the game, we went on that run,” continued Ezell.

The Cowgirls conclude their three-game homestand next week as Regis comes to Laramie for an 11 a.m., tip off as it is Education Day at 7220.

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