LARAMIE, Wyo. (March 9, 2020) – The Wyoming Cowgirls (17-12, 12-6 MW) concluded the 2019-20 season by winning six of their last seven games, and reaching the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament. Head coach Gerald Mattinson ended his first season at the helm of UW by setting the program record for wins by a first-year head coach at 17. Sophomore Tereza Vitulova earned all-Mountain West honors, while freshman Jaeden Vaifanua was named to the league’s all-freshman team. Here are a few more important notes about this year’s team.
A LOOK AT THE WYOMING COWGIRLS
The Cowgirls finished the year with a 17-12 record overall and a 12-6 record in Mountain West play. Sophomore Tereza Vitulova led the Cowgirls in scoring and rebounding with averages of 14.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Senior Taylor Rusk and sophomore Quinn Weidemann each averaged 10.2 points per game this year. Rusk also averaged 4.9 rebounds and led the Cowgirls with 75 total assists. Weidemann averaged 2.6 assists and made a team-best 46 three-pointers. Sophomore Alba Sanchez Ramos averaged 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while freshman Jaeden Vaifanua averaged 7.1 points and 4.1 rebounds off the bench. Defensively, Vitulova led the Cowgirls with 20 blocks, while sophomore Tommi Olson led Wyoming with 36 steals.
The Cowgirls shot 42.9 percent (700-1,633) from the field, 33.8 percent (198-585) from three-point range and 78.3 percent (271-346) from the free throw line to average 64.4 points per game. Wyoming averaged 12.8 assists and 13.0 turnovers per game. Opponents shot 39.2 percent (654-1,668) from the field, 32.0 percent (157-365) from three and 75.6 percent (276-365) from the free throw line to average 60.0 points per game. Cowgirl foes averaged 10.5 assists and 11.5 turnovers per game.
Head coach Gerald Mattinson finished his first year as head coach of the Cowgirls and owns a 17-12 record. He spent the previous 16 seasons on the Wyoming bench as an assistant and associate head coach.
SPREADING THE SCORING
The Cowgirls had three different players average double-figure scoring this season, marking the first such occurrence since the 2015-16 season. This year, Tereza Vitulova (14.2), Taylor Rusk (10.2) and Quinn Weidemann (10.2) all averaged double figures. In 2015-16, Marquelle Dent (15.5), Marta Gomez (10.7), Jordan Kelley (10.5) and Liv Roberts (10.1) all averaged at least 10 points per game.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Senior Taylor Rusk became the lastest Cowgirl to reach 1,000 career points with a three-pointer against San Diego State (1/22). She finished her career with 1,142 points after scoring 297 this year, 203 as a freshman, 332 as a sophomore and 310 as a junior.
SWISHIN’ AND DISHIN’
With two assists against Utah State, senior Taylor Rusk joined a rare club. She became just the fifth Cowgirl to have both 1,000 career points and 300 career assists. She joined Marquelle Dent, Hanna Zavecz, Ashley Elliot and Christine Fairless in the exclusive club.
LONG RANGE SUPERSTARS
Senior Taylor Rusk and sophomore Quinn Weidemann are both top-five all-time three-point shooters at Wyoming. Weidemann is third all time converting 41.1 percent (92-224) of her long range attempts, while Rusk is fifth, scoring 39.8 percent (184-462) of her shots behind the arc.
WEIDEMANN IS CLUTCH
Sophomore Quinn Weidemann was Wyoming’s go-to player this season when needing free throws late in games. This year, she is 25-28 from the free throw line in the final minute of games and in overtime, including 4-of-4 performances against Colorado State (2/15), Nevada (2/24) and Utah State (3/2).
OLSON HAS CAREER DAY IN “BORDER WAR” GAME
Sophomore Tommi Olson scored a career-high 10 points against Colorado State (2/15), including making the first two three pointers of her career. The Rams dared the Worland, Wyo., native to shoot, and she answered the bell with a career game.
FRESHMEN PUT ON A SHOW
The freshmen duo of McKinley Bradshaw and Jaeden Vaifanua put on a show for the home crowd against Mississippi Valley State. Bradshaw scored a career-high 26 points, including a crowd-pleasing four-point play. Vaifanua had her first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. With 12 points and 10 rebounds against Air Force (2/22) Vaifanua became the first Cowgirl freshman with multiple double-doubles in a season since Kayla Woodward had three in the 2011-12 season.
RECORD-SETTING DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE
The Cowgirls held Colorado Christian to just one point in the second quarter in the season-opener. That one point is a program record for fewest points allowed in a quarter. The NCAA started using quarters in women’s basketball during the 2015-16 season. Additionally, the Cowgirls held Colorado Christian to just nine points in the first half, and that’s the first time in the Mountain West era a Cowgirl opponent had a single-digit scoring half. Wyoming followed that up by allowing just nine points in the first half to Mississippi Valley State.
STRONG WYOMING DEBUT
Freshman McKinley Bradshaw scored 13 points in her collegiate debut, the highest output by a Wyoming native since Kayla Woodward had 15 points in her debut against Utah State on 11/11/11.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Cowgirls have had 223 consecutive regular-season home games with at least 2,000 fans in attendance.