LARAMIE, Wyo. (March 23, 2019) – The Wyoming Cowgirls (23-8, 13-5 MW) will continue their run in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Sunday, when they host South Alabama (25-10, 9-9 Sun Belt) at 2 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowgirls are playing in the WNIT for the third-consecutive season, joining the 2006-08 squads as the only instances of three seasons in a row of postseason action.
A LOOK AT THE WYOMING COWGIRLS
The Cowgirls are 23-8 this season and 13-5 in the Mountain West coming off a 68-60 win over Northern Colorado in the first round of the WNIT. The Cowgirls are led offensively by senior forwardMarta Gomez, a MW all-conference performer who averages 16.0 points per game while adding 4.8 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Bailee Cotton averages nearly a double-double with 11.4 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 100 assists and only 35 turnovers, the 13th-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country. Freshman guard Karla Erjavec leads the team in the assist department with 118 on the year, and she was named to the league’s all-freshman team. Defensively, Rusk has recorded 30 steals this season, while Cotton has 31 blocks and 44 steals and was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
Offensively, the Cowgirls are shooting at a 45.5 percent (774-of-1,701) clip from the field while shooting 39.2 percent (215-of-549) from three and 78.3 percent (340-of-434) from the free throw line to average 67.8 points per game. The Cowgirls average 15.8 assists and just 11.5 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting 41.1 percent (687-of-1,673) from the field, 31.5 percent (141-of-448) from three and 69.3 percent (248-of-358) from the free throw line to average 56.9 points per game. Cowgirl foes average 9.9 assists and 13.7 turnovers per game.
Head coach Joe Legerski is in his 16th year at the helm of the Cowgirls, and he has compiled a 312-185 record as Wyoming’s head coach. He is the winningest coach in program history.
SCOUTING SOUTH ALABAMA
The Jaguars are 25-10 overall and went 9-9 in the Sun Belt. South Alabama played for the conference tournament championship, but lost by one to Little Rock, 56-57. In the first round of the WNIT, South Alabama topped Lamar on the road, 73-71. Antoinette Lewis leads the Jaguars with 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Savannah Jones averages 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest, while Shaforia Kines rounds out the double-digit scorers with 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds each time out on the floor. Lewis also leads the team in blocks, averaging 1.8 per game, while Kines adds 1.3 steals per game on the defensive end and 3.3 assists on the offensive end.
On the season, the Jaguars are shooting 42.0 percent (890-of-2,117) from the field, 33.5 percent (243-of-726) from three and 56.6 percent (353-of-624) from the free throw line to average 67.9 points per game. South Alabama averages 14.4 assists and 17.4 turnovers per game. Opponents shoot 35.5 percent (789-of-2,222) from the field, 27.7 percent (192-of-693) from three and 68.9 percent (428-of-621) from the charity stripe to average 62.8 points per game. Jaguar foes average 11.6 assists and 15.9 turnovers per contest.
Head coach Terry Fowler is 85-102 in six years at South Alabama, and owns a 292-280 overall record in 20 years as a head coach.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST SOUTH ALABAMA
This is the first meeting between the two teams.
With a win, the Cowgirls will face the winner of the game between Saint Mary’s and Pepperdine.