Cowgirls Conclude Memorable 2018-19 Basketball Season

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Photo credit to Tony Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

LARAMIE, Wyo. (April 11, 2019) – The Wyoming Cowgirls wrapped up a memorable season with a run to the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. As the season is now done for every team in the NCAA, the Cowgirls (25-9, 13-3 MW) put the finishing touches on the 2018-19 season. The Cowgirls won at least 20 games and 13 conference games for the third season in a row, played in the WNIT quarterfinals for the second time ever and won 25 games to tie for the second most in a season in school history. Following the regular season, senior Bailee Cotton was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Conference and All-Defensive team honors. Senior Marta Gomez was also named All-Mountain West, and freshman Karla Erjavec was added to the league’s All-Freshman team. Gomez ended the season as the NCAA leader in three-point field goal percentage (47.4 percent) to become just the second Cowgirl ever to lead the NCAA in a statistic at the end of the season. Here are a few more notes about the 2018-19 Cowgirls:

 

A LOOK AT THE WYOMING COWGIRLS

The Cowgirls finished the season 25-9 and 13-5 in the Mountain West coming off a run to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. The Cowgirls were led offensively by senior forward Marta Gomez, a MW All-Conference performer who averaged 15.6 points per game while adding 4.7 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Bailee Cotton averaged nearly a double-double with 11.6 points per contest and pulled down a team-best 8.6 rebounds per game. Cotton also took a team-leading 23 charges this season. Junior Taylor Rusk scored 9.1 points per contest while adding 108 assists and only 37 turnovers, the 13th-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. Freshman guard Karla Erjavec led the team in the assist department with a freshman school record 124 on the year, and she was named to the league’s all-freshman team. Defensively, Rusk recorded 32 steals this season, while Cotton had 36 blocks and 47 steals and was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.

Offensively, the Cowgirls shot at a 45.2 percent (841-of-1,860) clip from the field while shooting 38.7 percent (227-of-586) from three and 77.1 percent (378-of-490) from the free throw line to average 67.3 points per game. The Cowgirls averaged 15.4 assists and just 11.2 turnovers per game. Opponents shot 41.3 percent (763-of-1,848) from the field, 32.1 percent (156-of-486) from three and 69.2 percent (279-of-403) from the free throw line to average 57.7 points per game. Cowgirl foes averaged 10.0 assists and 13.4 turnovers per game.

Head coach Joe Legerski finished his 16th year at the helm of the Cowgirls, and he has compiled a 314-186 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.

GOMEZ HAD INCREDIBLE SHOOTING SEASON

Senior Marta Gomez ended the season as the only player in the NCAA to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the free throw line.

GOMEZ IS NCAA STATISTICAL CHAMPION

Senior Marta Gomez is the 2019 NCAA three-point percentage champion, as the Valles, Spain, native shot a blistering 47.4 percent (73-of-154) from three. She is Wyoming’s second-ever NCAA statistical champion, joining Krista Treide, who also led the NCAA in three-point percentage in 1991. She shot 50.9 percent (57-of-112) during her senior season as a Cowgirl.

 

COTTON WAS A FORCE ON THE DEFENSIVE END

Senior Bailee Cotton was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Mountain West. This season, she had 16 games with at least one block and one steal, 13 games with multiple steals and 12 games with multiple blocks.

ERJAVEC SETS FRESHMAN RECORD

Karla Erjavec set a Cowgirl freshman record with 124 assists on the season. She topped Tonja Englund’s previous record of 118.

COWGIRLS COMPETED IN FIRST MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

The Cowgirls competed in their first Mountain West Championship game in program history, falling 68-51 to Boise State. The Cowgirls defeated Utah State (64-41) and San Diego State (75-70) on their way to the title game.

MOVING THE BALL

Wyoming was the only team in the Mountain West to feature three players that average over 3.0 assists per game: Clara Tapia (3.1), Taylor Rusk (3.2) and Karla Erjavec (3.6).

TAPIA THIRD TEAM ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA

Senior guard Clara Tapia was named Third Team Academic All-America last season after being named Academic All-District VII earlier in the season. She is the first Cowgirl to garner Academic All-America honors since Chaundra Sewell in 2013. Tapia carries a 4.0 GPA in molecular biology.

A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE

Karla Erjavec and Quinn Weidemann join Aubrey Vandiver as the only three Cowgirl freshmen to ever play at least 34 games in a season. Vandiver played 36 during the 2006-07 season.

The Cowgirls will now use the offseason to gear up for the 2019-20 season.