* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls came out and put on a clinic on both ends of the floor in the first half of their 80-64 win over UTSA Sunday in Laramie in the second round of the WNIT.

Wyoming shot an even 50-percent from the floor in the game’s first 20 minutes and hit 8-of-16 from 3-point range while holding the Roadrunners to 9-of-32 shooting in the first half.

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“Getting back to that winning filling has been bottling up for a while,” said Head Coach Heather Ezell postgame.

“Sitting around and waiting for this game, it was kind of like finally getting a chance to let the cat out of the cage, in a sense. They were ready to roll on both ends. Not just on the offensive end, where I thought we were really locked in but defensive wise, we were making everything tough.”

The Cowgirls came out firing, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to open the game. Wyoming led early 11-4, thanks to Malene Pedersen’s second 3-pointer of the quarter. The Cowgirls led 15-4 at the first media timeout as the opening onslaught continued. Out of the timeout, UTSA got back-to-back hoops before a McKinley Dickerson corner 3-pointer answered right back. Dickerson had nine first quarter points as she became the 29th member of the 1,000-Point Club at Wyoming in the game’s first 10 minutes. After back-to-back layups from Dickerson and Madi Symons, the Cowgirls claimed a 24-8 lead with 1:11 left in the first as UTSA called a timeout. UW led 26-8 after one.

UTSA opened the scoring in the second with a hoop before Maren McKenna drilled Wyoming’s fifth 3-pointer of the game. The Cowgirl lead was 42-16 at the media timeout as the strong first half continued for the Brown & Gold. The Wyoming offense cooled a bit the rest of the half but a free throw from Emily Mellema to end the half gave UW a 45-20 halftime lead.

Things started off slowly in the third as the Cowgirls committed their first turnover of the game early in the third quarter. An Allyson Fertig three-point play got UW on the board to begin the second half. The Roadrunners got the deficit down to 23 early in the frame as they started finding their offensive rhythm. Wyoming led 57-32 at the third quarter media timeout. Following the timeout, things started to gum up as both teams were whistled for multiple fouls and started going to the free-throw line. UTSA continued to whittle away at the UW lead, before a Pedersen corner three came with under a minute left in the frame, Wyoming’s first 3-pointer of the second half, and the Cowgirls led 64-41 after three.

The fourth quarter saw UTSA cut the deficit to under 20 as the Cowgirls started getting sloppy offensively. The Roadrunners got the UW lead down to 16 before the media timeout. After the final media, UTSA continued to play well on offense as the lead was down to just 13 late. Wyoming would respond one last time when it needed to, as it stretched the lead back out to 19 in the game’s final seconds before one last UTSA 3-pointer before the buzzer sounded.

Pedersen recorded her first 20-point game of the season and the third of her career in the win as she tied her career-high with a team-best 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor and hit four 3-pointers. Dickerson scored 14 of her 16 points in the first half and shot 7-of-9 overall and 2-for-3 from 3-point range in the victory. Fertig, meanwhile, recorded her fourth double-double in the last five games as she closed with 17 points, 10 rebounds and had four blocks.

The Cowgirls assisted on 21-of-28 made field goals Sunday and were led by Mellema’s career-high seven assists. Mellema didn’t record a turnover in the win over the Roadrunners and also added seven points, five rebounds and a steal. Ola Ustowska finished with five assists. Besides Dickerson off the bench, the Cowgirls got good contributions from Maren McKenna and Madi Symons, who scored five and four, respectively. UW outscored UTSA 29-15 in bench points. The Cowgirls also had a 16-6 advantage in second-chance points and a 17-12 edge in points off turnovers.

Wyoming ended the game shooting 28-of-61 (46-percent) and hit 9-of-26 from beyond-the-arc. UTSA shot 41.7-percent (25-60) and made 5-of-14 (35.7-percent) from 3-point range. The Cowgirls made six more free throws in the contest as well.

It will be another wait now to see who UW’s next opponent in the Super 16 round is. The Cowgirls will face the winner of Northern Arizona and South Dakota in the next round. NAU and USD don’t play until Tuesday night. The next round is slated for March 27 to 29 with location yet to be determined.

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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