Wyoming Cowgirls seek 9th straight win Saturday, men play at Colorado State

(UW Athletics release)

LARAMIE, Wyo.– The Wyoming Cowgirls (17-5, 10-3 MW) are on an unprecedented run, winning a program record eight Mountain West wins in a row. They’ll put their streak on the line for the second edition of this season’s “Border War” against Colorado State (8-16, 2-11 MW) on Saturday at 2 p.m. (MT). Wyoming won the meeting in Fort Collins earlier this season, and will look for their first “Border War” season sweep since 2013.

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 17-5 this season and 10-3 in the Mountain West coming off a 60-49 road win over UNLV, pushing their winning streak to eight games, the longest current winning streak in the Mountain West. The Cowgirls are led offensively by senior forward Marta Gomez who averages 15.8 points per game while adding 4.6 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Bailee Cotton averages nearly a double-double with 11.0 points per contest and pulling down a team best 8.6 rebounds per game. Cotton has also taken a team-leading 15 charges this season. Junior Taylor Rusk is scoring 10.0 points per contest while adding 74 assists and only 22 turnovers, the ninth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. Freshman guard Karla Erjavec leads the team in the assist department with 85 on the year. Defensively, Erjavec has recorded 26 steals this season, while Cotton has 19 blocks.

Offensively, the Cowgirls are shooting at a 46.5 percent (567-of-1,219) clip from the field while shooting 41.4 percent (169-of-408) from three and 76.0 percent (228-of-300) from the free throw line to average 69.6 points per game. The Cowgirls average 16.0 assists and just 11.4 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting 41.0 percent (487-of-1,187) from the field, 32.5 percent (103-of-317) from three and 69.5 percent (180-of-259) from the free throw line to average 57.1 points per game. Cowgirl foes average 9.5 assists and 14.4 turnovers per game.

Head coach Joe Legerski is in his 16th year at the helm of the Cowgirls, and he has compiled a 306-182 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.

The Rams are 8-16 on the year with a 2-11 mark in Mountain West play and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Colorado State has also lost all nine road games it has played this year. Lore Devos leads CSU in scoring with 14.0 points per game to go along with a team-best 5.5 rebounds per game. She’s also second with 71 assists on the season. Mollie Mounsey adds 11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest to round out CSU’s double-digit scorers. Grace Colaivalu averages 5.0 assists per game as the teams point guard. Tatum Neubert has 27 blocks to lead the defense, while Myanne Hamm has a team-best 40 steals.

Offensively, the Rams shoot 38.3 percent (489-of-1,276) from the field, 28.9 percent (134-of-463) from three and 76.0 percent (215-of-283) from the free throw line to average 55.3 points per game. CSU averages 11.3 assists and 13.0 turnovers per game. Defensively, opponents are shooting 35.7 percent (515-of-1,442) from the field, 32.6 percent (197-of-604) from three and 73.5 percent (202-of-275) from the free throw line to average 59.5 points per game. Opponents average 13.8 assists and 13.4 turnovers each game.

Head coach Ryun Williams is 144-74 in seven seasons at CSU, and has a 402-224 record in 21 seasons as a Division I head coach.

The Rams and Cowgirls will meet for the 102nd time on Saturday, and Wyoming holds a narrow 51-50 lead in the all-time series following their 60-49 win in Fort Collins earlier this season. The Rams won the matchup in Laramie last season, 53-64. While the Cowgirls have won three of the last four meetings, the Rams have won eight of the last 11, including three of the last four at 7,220 feet. The last time the Cowgirls earned the season sweep over Colorado State was in the 2012-13 season, when Wyoming won the two regular season meetings and one more in the Mountain West Tournament.

The Cowgirls host Fresno State in the Arena-Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (MT).

The Cowboy men south to faceoff against Colorado State for the second High Noon edition inside Moby Arena. The contest will mark the 230th game in the series, after Wyoming took the first contest on Feb. 9 by a score of 74-66 inside the Arena-Auditorium.

The contest will be televised on AT&T SportsNet. Fans can listen and follow love stats on GoWyo.com. The game will be broadcast live on radio over the 25 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, as Dave Walsh and Kevin McKinney will call the action.

A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming heads to Fort Collins with a 6-20 overall record and a 2-11 mark in the Mountain West. Wyoming fell at home on Tuesday evening to UNLV by a score of 66-56. The Cowboys shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and nearly erased a 13-point deficit.

The Cowboys are shooting 42 percent from the field on the season, as opponents are shooting 45 percent. Wyoming has shot 35 percent from the three-point line and average 7.5 makes per game. UW has been solid from the free throw line shooting 72 percent for the season.

The Rams head into Saturday’s game with a 10-16 overall record and a 5-8 mark in MW play. Colorado State defeated San Jose State on the road on Wednesday by a tally of 91-70. Colorado State had six players in double figures.

Colorado State leads the MW in field goal percentage on the season at 48 percent. The Rams are also shooting 36 percent from the field, which ranks fourth in the conference. Colorado State averages 75.2 points per game, while allowing 76.5 points per night.

Wyoming is led in scoring, rebounding and assists by senior guard Justin James. He leads the MW in scoring at 20.9 points per game, which ranks No. 34 in the nation. He grabs 8.3 rebounds per game for fifth in the MW and adds 4.4 assists per game for fifth in the league. He also leads the MW in steals at 1.7 per game and has 43 on the season. James scored a career-high 36 points in the last meeting with the Rams.

Junior guard Jake Hendricks adds 10.8 points per game and leads the Pokes with 49 three pointers on the year. He has made 15 over the last five game, as he returned from injury that saw him miss 10 games. Redshirt freshman Hunter Thompson adds 9.9 points per game.

The Rams are led by Nico Carvacho, as he leads CSU in scoring at 16 points per game. He also leads the MW and nation in rebounds per game at 13.2. He is shooting 60 percent from the field on the season. J.D. Paige adds 15 points per game and leads the team with 70 assists. Paige also leads the team with 49 three pointers.

The Cowboys hold a 135-95 advantage in the all-time series against the Rams. The Pokes are 54-56 against Colorado State in Fort Collins. James poured in a career-high 36 points in a wire-to-wire 74-66 win for the Cowboys over arch rival Colorado State on Feb. 9 in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes opened the game 7-of-7 from behind the three-point line and finished the game with 13 triples for the second most this season.

Wyoming heads to Fresno State for a showdown with the Bulldogs next Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT in the Save Mart Center.

Scott Breen

Scott Breen

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