LAS VEGAS — The Wyoming Cowgirls kicked off their Mountain West Conference Tournament journey in style on Monday night, handling San Jose State 72-57.
“We are playing March basketball defensively,” associate head coach Ryan Larsen said. “That’s a good team. I’ve said it all year, both times we’ve played that team how much they’ve improved. We played well to get them today. That’s a good team, and we played really well today.”
Wyoming started the game a bit slow offensively, though it didn’t take long for the team to find its rhythm, with recently-crowned Mountain West Freshman of the Year Malene Pedersen leading the charge.
Pedersen poured in a career-high 24 points. And she did it efficiently and from all over, connecting on seven of her 11 shots, including two of four from 3-point territory.
Allyson Fertig also scored in double figures, registering a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Quinn Weidemann chipped in nine points and three assists, while Marta Savic and Grace Ellis had nine and eight points, respectively.
Overall, the Cowgirls shot nearly 50% from the floor, connecting on 22 of their 45 shot attempts.
On the other end of the court, Wyoming’s defense was a consistent force all night. The Pokes held San Jose State to 32.3% from the floor.
“We switched some things up from what we’ve done in the past, and it worked pretty darn well,” Larsen said.
With the win, the Cowgirls advance to the semifinals, where they’ll face the winner of Boise State and Colorado State.