LARAMIE, Wyo. (November 10, 2019) – The Cowgirls trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half of their game against Saint Mary’s, but they slowly chipped away and walked off the floor with a 69-67 win. The Cowgirls (2-0) were clutch at the free throw line to hold off Saint Mary’s (1-2) late push.
“I’m so proud of our young women,” said head coach Gerald Mattinson, who joined Bonnie Hulstrand and Chad Lavin as the only coaches in Cowgirl history to start their career on a winning streak. “They came out and played so hard. Once again, we made some mistakes, and we’re going to make mistakes, but we grew up some today. They experienced a very good team. That team is very good. They’ll win a lot of games in their conference. They shoot the ball so well, and they have great size. We executed the game plan we had put together. That’s another step of growth. Overall, we came ready to play, we scrapped and we battled.”
The Cowgirls were led offensively by sophomore Alba Sanchez Ramos, who had a career-high 19 points on the strength of a career-high five made threes. The Spaniard added a career-high five rebounds, two assists and two steals on the day. Sophomore Tereza Vitulova scored 11 points and had a career-high seven rebounds. Senior Taylor Rusk added 10 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Freshman Jaeden Vaifanua scored the game-sealing free throws, while sophomores Karla Erjavec and Quinn Weidemann each went 2-for-2 from the line in the final minute of the game. The clutch shooting kept the 2,402 fans in the Arena-Auditorium on their feet.
“Once again, our fans were awesome,” Mattinson said. “When your fans are up there yelling for you, and they’re cheering for you, it lights a fire under our team. It means so much to them.”
Weidemann scored nine points and had a career-high eight rebounds. She stuffed the rest of the stat sheet with a career-high-tying four assists, a block and a pair of steals. Weidemann’s block came on a Saint Mary’s three-point attempt with 14 seconds to play to preserve a four-point Cowgirl lead.
Vaifanua had seven points, three rebounds, a block and a steal, while classmate McKinley Bradshaw added nine points, two rebounds, a block and two steals.
Wyoming shot 35.1 percent (26-74) from the field, 43.5 percent (10-23) from three-point range and 70.0 percent (7-10) from the free throw line. The Cowgirls had 13 assists to just four turnovers, nine steals and four blocks.
Saint Mary’s was led by Emily Codding’s double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Madeline Holland had 13 points and four assists.
The Gaels shot 41.9 percent (26-62) from the field, 33.3 percent (8-24) from three and 46.7 percent (7-15) from the free throw line. Saint Mary’s had 13 assists to 13 turnovers, five blocks and two steals.
The Cowgirls are back in action on Thursday, Nov. 14, when they travel to face Denver for a 7 p.m. tip.