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Wyoming Cowgirls to face Boise State Wednesday in MWC championship

Posted at 1:53 PM, Mar 13, 2019

(UW Athletics release)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The third-seeded Wyoming Cowgirls (22-7, 13-5 MW) beat seventh-seeded San Diego State 75-70 Tuesday night in an overtime semifinal at the Mountain West Tournament.

They’ll now face top-seeded Boise State (27-4, 16-2) at 7 p.m. (PT) in Wednesday’s championship game. It is the first trip to the finals for the Cowgirls in their Mountain West history. The Broncos defeated fourth-seeded Fresno State last night, 89-77.

The game will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network, 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.

The Cowgirls are entering the tournament as the No. 3 seed and are 22-7 this season and 13-5 in the Mountain West coming off a 75-70 overtime win in the semifinals over seventh-seeded San Diego State. The Cowgirls are led offensively by senior forward Marta Gomez who averages 16.1 points per game while adding 4.8 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Bailee Cotton averages nearly a double-double with 11.6 points per contest and pulling down a team best 8.8 rebounds per game. Cotton has also taken a team-leading 19 charges this season. Junior Taylor Rusk is scoring 9.4 points per contest while adding 96 assists and only 33 turnovers, the 13th-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. Freshman guard Karla Erjavec leads the team in the assist department with 111 on the year. Defensively, Gomez and Rusk have recorded 28 steals this season, while Cotton has 28 blocks and 41 steals.

Offensively, the Cowgirls are shooting at a 45.5 percent (732-of-1,609) clip from the field while shooting 39.4 percent (207-of-526) from three and 77.7 percent (313-of-403) from the free throw line to average 68.4 points per game. The Cowgirls average 16.0 assists and just 11.5 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting 41.1 percent (638-of-1,553) from the field, 30.4 percent (122-of-401) from three and 68.5 percent (237-of-346) from the free throw line to average 56.4 points per game. Cowgirl foes average 9.5 assists and 14.0 turnovers per game.

Head coach Joe Legerski is in his 16th year at the helm of the Cowgirls, and he has compiled a 311-184 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.

The Broncos won the Mountain West regular season title with a 27-4 record going 16-2 in league play. Boise State is led by a trio of players in double figures: Braydey Hodgins (13.3), Riley Lupfer (11.2) and Marta Hermida (10.3). Joyce Harrell averages 5.7 rebounds per game to lead the Broncos, while Jayde Christopher averages 5.5 assists per contest to direct the offense. A’Shanti Coleman leads the way defensively with 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.

The Broncos shoot 44.2 percent (870-of-1968) from the field, 34.8 percent (248-of-480) from three and 72.3 percent (347-of-480) from the free throw line to average 75.3 points per game. The Broncos average 16.5 assists and 14.6 turnovers per game. Opponents shoot 40.6 percent (714-of-1757) from the field, 30.6 percent (158-of-517) from three and 70.7 percent (391-of-553) from the free throw line to average 63.8 points per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists and 19.0 turnovers per game.

Head coach Gordy Presnell has a 270-171 record in 14 seasons at Boise State. He is 666-298 in 32 years as a head coach.

The Cowgirls and Broncos enter their eighth season as conference rivals, and the teams are an even 8-8 during their tenure in the Mountain West. Overall, Boise State holds a 12-11 lead in the series that dates back to 1989. The teams split home wins this season, a 72-64 decision in Boise, and a 64-52 game in Laramie. The Cowgirls have won the only MW Tournament game, a 61-56 contest in 2014.

The Cowgirls will either await the announcement of their destination and opponent in the NCAA Tournament, or await another possible postseason bid.