LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming women’s basketball team had a hot-shooting first half to help withstand a late comeback to beat Air Force, 65-63, on Wednesday in Clune Arena at Air Force Academy, Colorado.
The Cowgirls (4-3 overall, 1-0 Mountain West) led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before the two-point win to open the MW schedule.
“We were going to have to match their intensity for 40 (minutes) because that’s why they’re at the academy, that’s why they’re going to serve their country,” first-year UW coach Gerald Mattinson said. “They have no quit in them, and they’re going to keep coming at you whether they’re up 25 or down 25, and they proved that again (Wednesday). We made enough plays to pull out a tough, tough road win, so I’m pleased.”
UW sophomore Tereza Vitulova recorded the first double-double of her career with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. She shot an efficient 7 of 12 from the field, and it’s the fifth time this season and the 10th time in her career she has reached double-figure scoring.
Cowgirls sophomore Karla Erjavec had a season-high 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting. She also grabbed six rebounds and swiped out two steals. It was the second time this season she reached double-figure scoring and the 10th time in her career.
Sophomore Alba Sanchez Ramos scored nine points and had a team-high and career-best three assists. Senior Taylor Rusk scored eight points with five rebounds and two assists, while sophomore Quinn Weidemann added seven points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal for the Cowgirls.
Wyoming scored 39 points in the first half on a blistering 63% from the field. The 39 points are a season high for a first half.
The Cowgirls shot 50.9% (27 of 53) from the field, the second straight game in a row over 50%. Additionally, UW shot 33.3% (5 of 15) from 3-point range and 60% (6 of 10) from the free-throw line. UW had 10 assists and 14 turnovers.
The Falcons (1-8, 0-1) were led by Riley Snyder’s 20 points and seven rebounds, while Kaelin Immel added 14 points and five assists for Air Force.
The Falcons shot 40.6% (26 of 64) from the field, 37.5% (6 of 16) from long distance and 83.3% (5 of 6) at the free-throw line. Air Force had 13 assists to 10 turnovers.
The Cowgirls return to the court at 2 p.m. Saturday at New Mexico.