Cowgirl newcomers power Wyoming to 81-45 exhibition win over Adams State

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(Credit https://twitter.com/wyo_wbb)

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Nov. 4, 2019) —  UW picked up an 81-45 exhibition win over Adams State Friday night.

The Cowgirls earned 38 points from their five newcomers, who played in front of 2,384 fans in the Arena-Auditorium.

“Obviously, they were nervous, a lot of our kids were nervous,” said head coach Gerald Mattinson.

“This is the first time they’re getting minutes at this level. They’re playing in front of their family, they’re playing in front of their friends, and I think it’s nerve-wracking. We were a little on edge at first, but as the game settled in, I was really, really pleased with the effort. I was really, really pleased with what we did with our new kids,” Mattinson said.

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Wyoming newcomer junior college transfer Jay Johnson scored five points. Fellow junior college transfer Emily Buchanan scored eight points.

Freshman McKinley Bradshaw had eight points, while freshman Paige Powell had six.

Freshman Jaeden Vaifanua tied with a game-high 11 points.

Wyoming’s other double-digit scorers were sophomore Tereza Vitulova with 11, and senior Taylor Rusk and sophomore Quinn Weidemann each with 10 points.

Rusk had a game-high four assists, as well as a game-high six rebounds.

Sophomore Karla Erjavec also notched a game-high four assists.

Sophomore Alba Sanchez Ramos had three assists, as well as five points and five rebounds.

Vitulova and Vaifanua each grabbed five boards, while redshirt junior Selale Kepenc added four.

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“I was really pleased with the effort by everybody,” Mattinson said. “I thought we shared the ball well. In the second half, I can think of three times where the ball went from one end of the court to the other end of the court without a dribble. I’m not going to say each time that shot was made, but that’s sharing the ball, and that’s the thing we have to do.”

Powell and Vaifanua had three and two blocks, respectively. Sophomore Tommi Olson had three steals to go with four points, four rebounds and a pair of assists.

No Cowgirl played more than 25 minutes, and every member of the team scored at least one point.

Overall, Wyoming shot 53.6 percent (30-56) from the field, 28.6 percent (6-21) from three and 78.9 percent (15-19) from the free-throw line.

The Cowgirls had 18 assists to only five turnovers.

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Game Recap

Vitulova scored Wyoming’s first four points of the game, and after Sanchez Ramos and Vaifanua scored a pair of baskets, the teams were tied at 8-8 at the first media timeout.

A Weidemann three with a few seconds remaining made it 15-13 for the Cowgirls at the quarter break.

The Grizzlies scored first in the second frame with a layup. The Cowgirls then went on a 14-0 run, sparked by a Weidemann layup and ended by a Vaifanua jumper in the paint.

A pair of free throws ended the run, and Wyoming held a 29-17 lead with 4:37 to play in the first half.

The Cowgirls maintained their 12 point lead at the half, 41-29.

Weidemann led all scorers at the break with 10, while Vaifanua and Vitulova each had seven points.

Vaifanua added a pair of blocks, while Rusk had six rebounds and Erjavec ended the half with three assists.

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The Cowgirls started the second half on a 9-0 run capped by a Rusk corner three.

This forced a Grizzlies timeout with UW leading 50-29 at the 7:31 mark of the third quarter. Out of the timeout, the Cowgirls scored seven more before the Grizzlies got on the board.

In the end, the Cowgirls outscored the Grizzlies 21-5 in the quarter and took a 62-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

Jumpers from Powell and Buchanan and a free throw from Rusk in the final frame put Wyoming up 71-38 with 4:38 to play.

The Cowgirls outscored Adams State 10-7 down the stretch, and a pair of Buchanan free throws made the final 81-45.

The Cowgirls return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 6, when they host Colorado Christian in UW’s 2019-20 season opener.

The game is scheduled to tipoff at 6:30 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.

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