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Wyoming Cowgirls surge past Air Force

Members of the Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team cheer on their teammates during Saturday's win over Air Force. (via Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball Twitter)

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Cowgirls enjoyed a perfect week at home, capped off with a 62-56 win over Air Force on Saturday.

Wyoming got things going early with three layups in the game’s opening minutes to take an early 6-2 lead. AFA responded with back-to-back hoops to knot things at 6-6 by the first quarter media timeout.

Following the timeout, the Cowgirls started turning the ball over and the Falcons took advantage, pushing the lead up to 11-6 before a Malene Pedersen 3-pointer ended the 9-0 Air Force run. Things continued to be physical throughout the rest of the quarter, and AFA held an 11-9 advantage after the first quarter. Wyoming had some very good looks from beyond-the-arc in the first but only rarely was able to take advantage, going 1-of-7 from deep.

Air Force opened the second quarter by knocking down some mid-range jumpers, building a 15-9 lead. Wyoming got to within 15-13 but couldn’t quite reel the Falcons in, as AFA continued to make tough shots and the Cowgirls had untimely turnovers.

After a timeout, UW went on a 7-0 run to take a 20-18 lead with under two and a half minutes to play in the first half. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half, and a pair of Quinn Weidemann free throws put the Cowgirls up 25-23 at the half.

The Cowgirls got the first five points of the second half and forced an early Falcon timeout with just under nine minutes to go in the third quarter after taking a 30-23 lead. Out of the timeout, Air Force responded by getting the offense going by hitting some well-contested shots, cutting the Cowgirl lead to just 34-33.

After a Tommi Olson 3-pointer, the Falcons continued their hot shooting, especially from behind the arc and Wyoming clung to a 39-38 lead with about four minutes to go in the third. The Cowgirls went on a 10-3 run to end the quarter, making their final five shots and building a 49-41 lead going into the final quarter.

The Cowgirls opened the fourth quarter by pushing their lead to double digits, going up 53-43 about four minutes into the quarter.

Air Force didn’t go down without a fight though, cutting down the score to 56-52 with just a minute left before Allyson Fertig hit a pair of free throws.

That was as close as they would come, though, as UW iced things at free throw.

“Our timing and our pace was a lot better offensively in the second half,” associate head coach Ryan Larsen said after the game.

Fertig finished the game with a game-high 17 points and once again went perfect from the field shooting, as she was 7-of-7 from the floor. Fertig also added a game-best six rebounds and had a pair of blocks in the win. Weidemann and Pedersen also finished in double figures. Weidemann had 13 points and was a terror on the defensive end as she tallied a block and four steals against the Falcons. Pedersen, meanwhile, had a great all-around game, scoring 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting while adding four rebounds and a game-high four assists.

“We play through Allyson Fertig. She continues to see a lot of different defenses thrown her way and she’s starting to improve at figuring those out. Figuring when to shoot it, when to pass and when to be patient with the basketball,” Larsen said.


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