Cowgirls travel to San Diego State to open league play

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  • Gerald Mattinson
    American basketball coach

Dec. 26—CHEYENNE — Nearly 10 months after winning its first Mountain West tournament title in program history, the University of Wyoming women's basketball team heads to Southern California for its first conference matchup of the 2021-22 campaign.

Although the Cowgirls are coming off a loss to unbeaten Nebraska, coach Gerald Mattinson entered Wednesday's contest hoping to carry some sort of momentum into the conference season.

"We want to go in that environment (at Nebraska) and play in front of 4,000 people," Mattinson said Dec. 17. "And if not get a win then get ourselves ready to get back on the road when we come back after Christmas and be able to carry over what we've done (when playing the) San Diego States, the UNLVs and down the line."

UW will hope to carry its successes it saw during the loss to Nebraska into Tuesday against a San Diego State team that's also coming off a loss against an NCAA Tournament-caliber opponent. The Aztecs suffered an eight-point loss to No. 24-ranked Ohio State on Dec. 21.

Unlike most of their opponents they've squared off against this season, the Cowgirls are heading into Tuesday's contest averaging more points per contest than the Aztecs — but not my much. UW averages 61.9 points per game and San Diego State averages 61.3 points per game. The Aztecs are paced by Sophia Ramos who scores 14.5 points per contest and preseason freshman of the year in Asia Avenger, who averages 10.2. Mercedes Staples also scores 10.1 points per game.

The Cowgirls area a little more balanced, however, and have just one player scoring in double figures in junior McKinley Bradshaw. Against UW's most recent win over North Dakota State on Dec. 12, it had four players finish in double figures, which is something Mattinson has emphasized throughout the season.

"We had four kids in double-digits against NDSU and I think to be a good team you have to have three kids average double digits and you're always gonna get someone else to help you out," Mattinson said. "I think Quinn (Weidemann) and (Alba Sanchez Ramos) finding their groove ... so I think we have that ability."

Weidemann has been quiet offensively at times for the Cowgirls, but the senior could be critical in getting the offense in a consistent rhythm entering league play. UW managed to knock down some shots against a solid Nebraska team, and different players contribute. It's something positive to see going forward

"I know we scored 61 points against a very good defensive team (in Nebraska)," Mattinson said. "Obviously, would have liked to have won but that's a pretty big chore to do there. But, we had some pretty good individual performances and something to build on."

Robert Munoz is a writer for WyoSports. He can be reached at rmunoz@wyosports.net. Follow him on Twitter @rmunoz307.

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