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Cowgirls surge to Senior Day victory over Fresno State

The Wyoming Cowgirls finished strong, bolstered by a stellar outing from Allyson Fertig, and came away victorious on Senior Day.

UW's Allyson Fertig puts up a contested shot in her team's Senior Day victory on Saturday. (via Wyoming Cowgirl Basketball X)

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Cowgirls finished strong, bolstered by a stellar outing from Allyson Fertig, and came away victorious on Senior Day, prevailing 62–51 over Fresno State on Saturday.

While the ending was strong, things looked shaky in the early goings.

“I was a little disappointed the way we started the game on the defensive end,” Head Coach Heather Ezell said, “but then we settled in and made them take tough shots. We were really defending today, getting in the gaps, making passes and different things tough for them. Holding a team to 51, and eight points in the fourth quarter, that’s a great defensive effort.”

Fresno State got off to a fast start, taking an early 9–5 lead. The Bulldogs led 12–8 roughly halfway through the quarter, as they came out shooting hot from 3-point range.

Out of a timeout, the Cowgirls hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take their first lead of the game. Later in the period, Wyoming extended the lead to four. UW ultimately led 16–14 after one.

Both offenses started hot in the second period. Fertig stretched the UW lead to 25–18 with some excellent work on the low block, but Fresno State answered back and took a 29–28 lead with a flurry of baskets in quick succession.

Fertig and teammate Emily Mellema put the team on their backs, though, and a handful of layups and floaters from the pair saw UW holding a 36–31 halftime lead.

After the halftime break, both teams started a bit shakily. Wyoming was plagued by a slew of uncharacteristic turnovers, while Fresno State’s shooting went cold for one of the first extended stretches of the game. Fertig continued to play the hero, and more baskets from her kept Wyoming in front 45–40 as the two teams approached the end of the quarter.

Tess Barnes drained a late 3-pointer for the Cowgirls, and the team entered the final quarter up 48–43.

In the fourth, the two teams traded baskets for the opening few minutes of play. As the period wore on, though, Wyoming was able to steadily build up a double-digit lead, stretching the advantage to 12 before a Bulldog 3-pointer brought the difference back to single digits.

Saturday was the 12th 20-point outing of Fertig’s career. She also recorded her ninth double-double of the season, finishing with 10 rebounds. Fertig ended the game 7-of-11 from the floor and set a career-high 10 makes at the free throw line.

Barnes and Mellema also scored in double figures in the win. Barnes finished with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting and made all three of her 3-point attempts. Mellema had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists. Malene Pedersen also dished out four dimes in the contest.

Wyoming shot an excellent 48.8% from the floor while holding Fresno State to 32% shooting.

The Cowgirls look to continue the momentum heading into the regular season finale on the road against San Diego State.

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