• 12:30 p.m., tip time in Laramie
The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team opens Mountain West play Saturday with a 12:30 p.m., contest against Boise State in Laramie. The Cowgirls get to host the league opener for the first time in eight seasons, after playing the previous seven conference openers on the road.
Saturday’s game, which had its tip time moved up to 12:30 from its original 2 p.m., slate, will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and can be heard on the Cowgirl Radio Network, that isn’t preempted by Cowboy Football, with David Settle on the call.
ABOUT THE COWGIRLS
Wyoming (5-6) ended its non-conference slate going 1-1 at the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic last week. The Cowgirls defeated Wright State, 71-61 in the opener before losing the second contest, 62-43 to Eastern Washington. Tess Barnes recorded a career-high 19 points in the win over Wright State. Barnes’ career-best five 3-pointers marked the first time a Cowgirl has made five-plus 3-pointers in a single game since Tommi Olson did it March of 2022 against Colorado State. Also against the Raiders, Allyson Fertig recorded her third double-double of the season and her second 20-plus outing as she scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
For the season now, Fertig is averaging a team-high 14.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting nearly 58-percent from the floor. Malene Pedersen also averages in double figures at 10.7 points per game and is second on the team with 21 assists. Emily Mellema has a team-leading 33 assists and 19 steals on the year. Off the bench, Marta Savic leads Cowgirl reserves with 6.8 points and 4.7 rebounds a contest and is shooting 32-of-53 (59.3-percent) from the field.
The Cowgirls recorded a season-high 19 assists in the December 21 win and are now up to 13.5 assists per game as a squad. UW also had a plus-22 rebounding margin against Wright State as it pulled down 45 rebounds in the victory. Wyoming now has a plus-3.8 rebound margin in 2023-24, which ranks fourth-best in the Mountain West. The Cowgirls’ 64.4 points per game this season ranks fifth in the league while their near-44-percent team field goal percentage is third.
Wyoming, who finished second in the league last season, was picked to finish third in the Preseason Mountain West Poll released in October.
SCOUTING BOISE STATE
Boise State has been strong defensively this season, anchored by the reigning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, Abby Muse, who is averaging nearly four blocks and 1.2 steals per game this season. The Broncos give up just 55.5 points per game while opponents are shooting 35-percent overall and 29-percent from 3-point range. Boise State also has a near-plus-eight rebounding margin in 2023-24 and is forcing 14.7 turnovers per contest. The Broncos are scoring at a 64.2 point per game clip and are shooting 40.6-percent from the floor and an impressive 37.5-percent from beyond-the-arc. BSU is 0-2 in true road games this season.
The Broncos are led by Natalie Pasco’s 13.6 points per game. Pasco has made 34 3-pointers on the season and is shooting 46.6-percent from deep. Mya Hansen is second on the team averaging nine points and 2.9 assists per game. Muse, meanwhile, is averaging 8.1 points and league-leading 10.2 rebounds per contest. Mary Kay Naro leads the team with 4.6 assists per game, which ranks third-best in the Mountain West.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST BOISE STATE
Wyoming is 15-18 all-time in the series against the Broncos. The Cowgirls have won 3-of-4 of late in the series and the last three contests in Laramie. Last season, the two programs met just once, a 69-62 UW victory in Boise. The Cowgirls are 10-2 at home all-time against the Broncos.