Cowgirls Aim to Win Unprecedented Eighth Mountain West Game in a Row

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Taylor Rusk. UW Photo by Troy Babbitt

LARAMIE– The Wyoming Cowgirls (16-5, 9-3 MW) have won seven games in a row against Mountain West foes, tying the program record.

A win on Wednesday against UNLV (9-15, 7-6 MW) would set a new benchmark with eight-consecutive victories in Mountain West play.

However, the Lady Rebels are 5-1 at home in league play, and have won a pair of games in a row, themselves. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm (MT).


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The game will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and on Stadium, and can be heard across the 25 stations of the Cowgirl Radio Network with Reece Monaco on play-by-play and Wyoming Hall of Famer Margie McDonald with color commentary

A LOOK AT THE COWGIRLS

The Cowgirls are 16-5 this season and 9-3 in the Mountain West coming off a 55-51 road win over Nevada, pushing their winning streak to seven games, the longest current winning streak in the Mountain West.

The Cowgirls are led offensively by senior forward Marta Gomez who averages 15.5 points per game while adding 4.5 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Bailee Cotton averages nearly a double-double with 11.0 points per contest and pulling down a team best 8.9 rebounds per game.

Cotton has also taken a team-leading 14 charges this season. Junior Taylor Rusk is scoring 10.1 points per contest while adding 73 assists and only 21 turnovers, the seventh-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country.

Freshman guard Karla Erjavec leads the team in the assist department with 83 on the year. Defensively, Erjavec has recorded 25 steals this season, while Cotton has 19 blocks.

Offensively, the Cowgirls are shooting at a 46.3 percent (543-of-1,173) clip from the field while shooting 40.9 percent (161-of-394) from three and 75.6 percent (220-of-291) from the free throw line to average 69.9 points per game.

The Cowgirls average 16.0 assists and just 11.4 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting 41.3 percent (468-of-1,134) from the field, 32.5 percent (99-of-305) from three and 69.5 percent (173-of-249) from the free throw line to average 57.5 points per game. Cowgirl foes average 9.6 assists and 14.3 turnovers per game.

Head coach Joe Legerski is in his 16th year at the helm of the Cowgirls, and he has compiled a 305-182 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.

SCOUTING UNLV

The Lady Rebels are 9-15 overall on the season with a 7-6 mark in Mountain West play following a 74-70 win against San José State.

UNLV is led by Katie Powell, a member of the Preseason All-MW Team, who averages 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and has made a team-high 29 three-pointers on the season. She also protects the paint with a team-leading 0.9 blocks per contest.

Nikki Wheatley directs the offense with a team-leading 2.4 assist per game, while adding 11.8 points per contest. Rodjanae Wade pours in 8.5 points and adds 5.6 rebounds per game, while Latecia Smith is the top thief on UNLV, swiping 1.4 steals per game on the defensive end.

Offensively, the Lady Rebels shoot 38.8 percent (528-of-1,362) from the field, 28.0 percent (101-of-361) from three and 64.9 percent (296-of-456) from the free throw line to average 60.5 points per game. UNLV averages 9.7 assists and 17.3 turnovers per contest.

Opponents are shooting 40.7 percent (537-of-1,320) from the field, 33.0 percent (149-of-452) from three and 66.3 percent (291-of-439) from the free throw line to average 63.1 points per contest. Lady Rebel foes average 13.3 assists and 17.3 turnovers each game.

Head coach Kathy Olivier is 165-173 in 11 years at the helm of UNLV. Overall, she has 26 years of coaching experience and has compiled a 398-381 record.


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SERIES HISTORY AGAINST UNLV

The Cowgirls and Rebels have both been a part of the Mountain West since its inception, but have also faced off before becoming conference foes. Overall, the series, which dates back to the 1979-80 season, is close with the Cowgirls holding a 24-23 advantage. However, Wyoming hasn’t beaten the Lady Rebels in Las Vegas since 2013, a 64-60 victory, and has lost the last three games in Sin City.

Up Next

The Cowgirls will return home after a two-game road swing for the second edition of this season’s “Border War” against Colorado State on Saturday, February 23 with tipoff at 2 pm (MT). This is the Cowgirls’ “Bounce Cancer” game.