Seniors Aubrey Vandiver and Hillary Carlson combined for 46 points to propel the Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team past the Portland State Vikings, 79-44, in the first round of the WNIT on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium.

The first nine minutes of action saw the Cowgirls make only two field goals as they adjusted to the Portland State zone. But they did find seven points from the free throw line while holding the Vikings to three field goals in that span so Wyoming had an 11-8 lead at the 10:57 mark. After trading a couple of buckets, Wyoming pushed the ball into the paint and scored practically at will for the remainder of the half, going on a 22-6 run in the final nine minutes of the first half. UW went into halftime with a 35-16 lead.

Wyoming (23-8) was led by Hillary Carlson with 26 points and 7 rebounds and Aubrey Vandiver who had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. They were followed by Chaundra Sewell with 16 points, 9 boards and 4 assists and 2 steals. Randi Richardson had 7 assists and 3 rebounds while holding Portland State's leading scorer, Eryn Jones to just 2 points.

The Cowgirls grabbed a season high 58 rebounds and matched their season low with 8 turnovers. They shot 42 percent from the field, 10 percent from beyond the arc and 74 percent from the free throw line while earning 48 points in the paint and 22 second chance points off of 19 offensive boards.

After putting up 15 3-point attempts in the first half, Wyoming went 1-for-5 in the second half beyond the arc as they continued to find points in the paint, many of those earned on second chance. The gap between the Cowgirls and Vikings widened past 30 points and UW played the final eight minutes with only freshman and sophomores on the floor.

Portland State (20-12) was led by Courtney VanBrocklin with 11 points and Stephanie Egwuatu with 9 points and 6 rebounds. The Vikings shot 25 percent from the field, 22 percent from 3-point range and 54 percent from the free throw line.

Wyoming moves on to the second round of the WNIT. They will host Oklahoma State on Monday, March 21 in the Arena-Auditorium at 7 p.m. Coverage will begin on KOWB at 6:30 p.m.

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