Wyoming Cowgirls shoot for 10th straight win Wednesday, men at Fresno State

(UW Athletics release)

LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Cowgirls (18-5, 11-3 MW) are riding a nine-game winning streak and host Fresno State (17-9, 10-5) this Wednesday in the Arena-Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. A win would give the Cowgirls a perfect February and just the fourth double-digit winning streak in program history.

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 18-5 this season and 11-3 in the Mountain West coming off a 56-32 Border War win over Colorado State, pushing their winning streak to nine games, the longest current winning streak in the Mountain West. The Cowgirls are led offensively by senior forward Marta Gomez who averages 15.7 points per game while adding 4.8 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Bailee Cotton averages nearly a double-double with 11.3 points per contest and pulling down a team best 8.7 rebounds per game. Cotton has also taken a team-leading 15 charges this season. Junior Taylor Rusk is scoring 9.8 points per contest while adding 78 assists and only 22 turnovers, the seventh-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. Freshman guard Karla Erjavec leads the team in the assist department with 86 on the year. Defensively, Erjavec has recorded 26 steals this season, while Cotton has 21 blocks and 27 steals.

Offensively, the Cowgirls are shooting at a 46.3 percent (588-of-1,269) clip from the field while shooting 41.1 percent (174-of-423) from three and 76.2 percent (237-of-311) from the free throw line to average 69.0 points per game. The Cowgirls average 16.0 assists and just 11.2 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting 40.6 percent (500-of-1,233) from the field, 32.0 percent (104-of-325) from three and 69.3 percent (185-of-267) from the free throw line to average 56.0 points per game. Cowgirl foes average 9.3 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 307-182 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.

The Bulldogs are 17-9 overall this season with an 11-3 mark in Mountain West play following a 41-57 loss on the road to Nevada. Fresno State is led by the conference’s leading scorer, Candice White, who puts up 18.5 points per game. She also adds 5.0 rebounds a 2.5 assists per game. Maddi Utti scores 11.8 points per game on a 55.4 percent shooting clip while pulling down a team best 7.3 rebounds per game. Aly Gamez scores 11.1 points and averages 3.1 assists per contest. Defensively, Gamez averages 1.8 steals per game, while Utti protects the paint with 1.0 blocks per contest.

Offensively, the Bulldogs shoot 43.3 percent (686-of-1,583) from the field, 33.6 percent (206-of-613) from three and 77.8 percent (256-of-329) from the free throw line to average 70.5 points per game. Fresno State averages 15.6 assists and 14.3 turnovers per game. Defensively, opponents are shooting 41.7 percent (621-of-1,489) from the field, 31.9 percent (159-of-498) from three and 67.5 percent (249-of-369) from the free throw line to score 63.5 points per game. Bulldog foes average 13.9 assists and 16.8 turnovers per game.

Head coach Jaime White is 97-61 in five years at the helm of the Bulldogs and owns a 214-189 record in 13 years overall as a Division I head coach. White was an assistant at Utah from 2001-03 with current Wyoming head coach Joe Legerski, and she joined Legerski’s first staff at Wyoming from 2004-06.

The Bulldogs own the all-time series, 19-13, but Wyoming took the last two meetings, a 74-57 decision in Laramie last season and a 63-56 game in Fresno earlier this season. The last time the squads met in Fresno, the Bulldogs earned a 60-47 win. In fact, Fresno State has won nine of the last 12 meetings between the two teams, and 11 of the 16 games since the two teams became Mountain West foes in 2012-13. Since joining the Mountain West, Fresno State is 2-4 in Laramie against the Cowgirls.

The Cowgirls visit the Air Force Academy on Saturday, March 2. Tip-off for this front-range game is at 2 p.m. (MT).

The Cowboy men play in Fresno after losing the first meeting of the season in Laramie, 75-62.

The contest will be streamed on the Mountain West Network. Fans can watch, 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.

Wyoming heads to into the game with a 6-21 overall record and a 2-12 mark in the Mountain West. Wyoming fell at Colorado State on Saturday by a score of 83-48. It was the fewest points in a game this season, as the Pokes hit a season-low two three pointers.

The Pokes rank second in the Mountain West in free throw percentage on the season at 73 percent. Wyoming is shooting 41 percent from the field on the season and are connecting on 34 percent of their three-point attempts. Wyoming averages 7.3 triples per game on the season.

The Bulldogs enter Wednesday evening’s contest with a 19-8 overall record and a 10-5 mark in league play. The Bulldogs dropped a pair of contests last week including a hard fought 74-68 defeat on Saturday against No. 6 Nevada.

Fresno State leads the MW and ranks No. 41 in the nation in three pointers attempted at 725. The Bulldogs lead the MW and rank No. 13 in the nation connecting on 10.2 three-pointers per game. Fresno State also leads the conference connecting on 38 percent of their three-point attempts.

Wyoming is led in scoring, rebounding and assists by senior guard Justin James. He leads the MW in scoring at 21.2 points per game, which ranks No. 33 in the nation. He grabs 8.4 rebounds per game for fifth in the MW and adds 4.3 assists per game for sixth in the league. He also leads the MW in steals at 1.6 per game and has 44 on the season. James ranks in the top-five in 14 categories in the MW.

Junior guard Jake Hendricks adds 10.6 points per game and leads the Pokes with 50 three pointers on the year. Hendricks is averaging 35.3 minutes per game, which ranks second on the Pokes behind James. Redshirt freshman Hunter Thompson adds 9.5 points per game to go along with three rebounds per night.

The Bulldogs are led in scoring by Braxton Huggins at 18.6 points per game, which ranks fourth in the Mountain West, as he is shooting 40 percent from behind the arc ranking fourth in the Mountain West. Deshon Taylor adds 17.4 points per game to rank sixth in the MW. He ranks third in the conference adding 4.7 assists per game.

The Cowboys trail the all-time series 11-17. The Bulldogs used a run in the second half to take the first meeting this season 75-62 in Laramie on Jan. 30. The Pokes won last season’s contest in the Save Mart Center by a tally of 78-68.

The Cowboys return home on Saturday hosting Air Force in the Arena-Auditorium for a 4 p.m. start. The contest can be seen on AT&T SportsNet.

Scott Breen

Scott Breen

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