* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team opens a pivotal week of home games Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., as the Cowgirls welcome league-leading UNLV to the Arena-Auditorium.

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Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and Stadium and can be heard across the Cowgirl Radio Network with David Settle on the call.

Wyoming (14-10, 9-4 MW) is looking to snap a two-game skid Wednesday. The Cowgirls are coming off a 75-70 loss at Colorado State Saturday in a battle in Fort Collins. Emily Mellema and Tess Barnes scored 25 and 21, respectively on a combined 16-for-30 from the floor and 9-of-17 from 3-point range. The duo became the first Cowgirl teammates since Alba Sanchez Ramos and Quinn Weidemann in March of 2022 to score 20-plus points in the same game.

The 25 points from Mellema tied a career-high for the junior, she also scored 25 earlier this season against CSU. Barnes’ 21 is a career-best for her while her five made 3-pointers tied a career-high, which she’s now hit three times this season. Malene Pedersen also finished in double figures with 11 points in the loss. UW’s 27 points in the third quarter Saturday, are the most points this season from the Cowgirls in single quarter.

In conference play this season, a quartet of Cowgirls are scoring in double figures. Allyson Fertig leads the team averaging 12.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game on a league-leading 61-percent shooting. Mellema is up to 10.8 points per and is also second on the squad averaging 2.7 assists per contest. Pedersen and Barnes are scoring 10.6 and 10.2 points per game, respectively. Barnes has a team-high 29 made 3-pointers and is shooting 36.3-percent from beyond-the-arc. Pedersen, meanwhile, is shooting 92-percent (23-for-25) from the free-throw line. Ola Ustowska’s 3.2 assists per game leads Wyoming in conference action.

The two-time defending Mountain West Champions, UNLV, lead the league once again in the standings. The Lady Rebels lead the league in multiple statistical categories, including scoring average at 79 points per game and scoring margin (18.3) as UNLV allows just 60.7 points per game. The Lady Rebels are shooting a league-leading 45.2-percent from the floor overall this season and is making 35-percent of their shots from 3-point range. UNLV has a plus-nine rebound margin and is averaging 41.5 rebounds per game. UNLV allows 39-percent shooting from the field and just under 30-percent from beyond-the-arc. UNLV has a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The 2022 MW Player of the Year, Desi-Rae Young leads the team and is second in the conference in scoring at 19.3 points per game while her 9.6 rebounds per contest leads the league. Young is shooting 56-percent from the floor and leads the Lady Rebels with 30 steals. Kiara Jackson is second on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game and is averaging five assists per game, which is second in the MW. Alyssa Durazo-Frescas (8.3), Nneka Obiazor (8.2) and Amarachi Kimpson (8.0) all averaging eight-plus points per game.

Wyoming is looking to snap a four-game skid in the series against UNLV. The Lady Rebels lead the all-time series now, 30-28 thanks to those four-straight victories. The Cowgirls’ last win in the series came at home, a 77-73 victory in Laramie in February of 2022. UW is 19-8 all-time at home in the series.

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