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Cowgirls to face UNLV in critical showdown

Photo via Troy Babbit, UW Athletics

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team opens a pivotal week of home games Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., welcoming league-leading UNLV to the Arena-Auditorium.

Wyoming is looking to snap a two-game skid, coming off a 75–70 loss at Colorado State Saturday in a battle in Fort Collins. Emily Mellema and Tess Barnes scored 25 and 21, respectively, on a combined 16-for-30 from the floor and 9-of-17 from 3-point range.

In conference play this season, a quartet of Cowgirls are scoring in double figures. Allyson Fertig leads the team, averaging 12.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game on a league-leading 61% shooting. Mellema puts up 10.8 points per and is also second on the squad with 2.7 assists per contest.

Malene Pedersen and Barnes are scoring 10.6 and 10.2 points per game, respectively. Barnes has a team-high 29 made 3-pointers and is shooting 36.3% from beyond-the-arc. Pedersen, meanwhile, is shooting 92% from the free-throw line.

The two-time defending Mountain West Champions, UNLV, leads the league in the standings. The Lady Rebels lead the league in multiple statistical categories, including scoring average, at 79 points per game, and scoring margin, beating opponents by an average of 18.3 points per game. UNLV is shooting a league-leading 45.2% from the floor overall this season and is making 35% of its shots from 3-point range.

The 2022 MW Player of the Year, Desi-Rae Young, leads the team and is second in the conference in scoring at 19.3 points per game, while her 9.6 rebounds per contest leads the league. Young is shooting 56% from the floor. She also is a defensive gem for her squad, having nabbed 30 steals thus far this season.

Kiara Jackson is second on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game and averages five assists per game, second in the MW. Alyssa Durazo-Frescas, Nneka Obiazor and Amarachi Kimpson all average better than eight points per game as well.

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