Cowgirls basketball picked to finish fourth in the MW

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University of Wyoming photo

October 13, 2022 — Press Release

The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the Preseason Mountain West Poll announced by the league Wednesday, as voted on by the league’s head coaches and select media members. Last season the Cowgirls finished fourth in the MW standings with an 11-6 conference mark (17-13 overall).

The Cowgirls, who were tabbed to finish fifth in the previous two seasons, received 207 points in this year’s poll. Defending Mountain West regular season and tournament champion, UNLV was tabbed as the preseason favorite after the Lady Rebels received 26 first-place votes. New Mexico ranked number two in the poll, while Colorado State is third.

Wyoming returns a trio of starters to the 2022-23 squad, which will be the first season under new head coach Heather Ezell. Last season’s Mountain West Freshman of the Year, Allyson Fertig, returns, as does a pair of “super seniors” for the Cowgirls in Tommi Olson and Quinn Weidemann. However, Lyman native and the Cowgirls leading scorer from last season, McKinley Bradshaw, will not return to the team for her senior season. Bradshaw announced last March that she would serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Wyoming also returns seven key contributors to its bench in 2022-23. Tess Barnes, Lexi Bull, Grace Ellis, Emily Mellema, Paula Salazar, Marta Savic, and Ola Ustowska all come back this season. In addition, the Cowgirls also welcome a trio of newcomers in transfers Malene Pedersen (Kansas State) and Bailey Wilborn (Maine), as well as incoming freshman Grace Moyers, who enrolled at UW in the second semester of the 2021-22 academic year.

The Cowgirls will open the basketball season on November 11 at North Dakota.

2022-23 Mountain West Predicted Order of Finish
1. UNLV (26)                     297 pts.
2. New Mexico (2)           264
3. Colorado State            232
4. Wyoming                     207
5. San Diego State           200
6. Nevada                         142
7. Boise State                   140
8. Air Force                       125
9. Fresno State                 113
10. San Jose State           67
11. Utah State                  61

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Preseason All-Mountain West Team
McKenna Hofschild, Colorado State
Shaiquel McGruder, New Mexico
Sophia Ramos, San Diego State
Essence Booker, UNLV
Desi-Rae Young, UNLV

Preseason Player of the Year
Desi-Rae Young, UNLV

Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Amaya Brown, New Mexico

Preseason Freshman of the Year
Hannah Robbins, New Mexico