• Wyoming hangs on against pesky Aggies
It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Wyoming Cowgirls picked up a hard-fought road win Wednesday at Utah State, hanging on for a 54-48 lead. UW led for much of the contest but just couldn’t put away the Aggies as they hung around all night.
Wyoming (7-6, 2-0 MW) looked sharp early, scoring the first three buckets of the contest and forced a Utah State timeout less than two minutes into the game. Following the quick timeout, USU got on the board with a deep 3-pointer and after the Cowgirls went back up by six, the Aggies went on a big run and eventually took a 14-11 lead as the Cowgirl offense slowed down. A Tess Barnes 3-pointer to end the first tied things at 16-16 after one. Utah State was on an 11-2 run to end the first before the Barnes three.
In the second, Barnes continued to stay hot as her six straight points gave the Cowgirls a 24-18 lead. The UW run continued from there as the lead was as many as 10 later in the quarter. The Wyoming defense held the Aggies without a field goal for nearly six minutes in the frame. Wyoming led 30-20 at the second quarter media timeout. USU would counter once again out of the timeout, as it did in the first, cutting the lead down to six before the end of the half. The Cowgirls had their opportunities to lengthen the lead before the break but couldn’t capitalize, going just 1-for-8 to end the half and took a 32-26 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter saw the Cowgirls get the first three hoops of the half as the Aggies called a timeout with 6:05 left in the frame as Wyoming had its biggest lead of the game to that point, 38-26. The two teams would struggle offensively the rest of the quarter, especially UW as Utah State would rally a bit late in the third to make it 40-32 after three.
After the Aggies got the first basket of the fourth, the Cowgirls responded with back-to-back layups to go back up by double digits. UW led 46-36 at the final media timeout. From there, USU would continue to hang around before Malene Pedersen’s corner 3-pointer delivered the knockout blow with 1:15 left to play. Utah State would make things interesting late, getting the deficit down to just five, but the Cowgirls wouldn’t relinquish the lead.
Allyson Fertig led all players with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the victory, registering her fourth double-double of the season and the 23rd of her career. Fertig moves into the top-five in program history with those 23 double-doubles. Barnes also finished in double figures on the night, ending with 11 points while making two of the Cowgirls’ four 3-pointers.
Emily Mellema and McKinley Dickerson ended the night with eight and seven points, respectively with Mellema recording a trio of assists while Dickerson had two steals. Ola Ustowska also had a pair of steals in the win. Pedersen’s only points on the night came on that big 3-pointer, but she led the Brown & Gold with four assists. Maren McKenna came off the bench to score five points.
For the night, the Cowgirls shot just 37.5-percent and went 4-of-22 from beyond-the-arc. USU shot just 32-percent overall and made 4-of-18 from 3-point range. Wyoming had a 37-35 edge in rebounding and an 8-2 advantage in second-chance points. The Cowgirls had 32 points in the paint to Utah State’s 18 and had six more (16-10) points off turnovers than the Aggies.
UW will look to make it a 3-0 start to conference play and a 2-0 week on the road as it travels to face Air Force Saturday at 1 p.m.