LARAMIE – The Cowgirls are preparing for a double-dose of Alisha Davis-like talent at the Double-A.
Wyoming opened the 2021-22 women’s basketball season with a 67-53 victory over CSU Pueblo, even though Davis, the ThunderWolves’ star forward, finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
UW hosts Wichita State at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium.
Head coach Gerald Mattinson said the Cowgirls will be tested by two Shockers players — 6-foot-2 forwards Asia Strong and Trajata Colbert — capable of filling up the stat sheet as Davis did.
“It’s going to be a challenge for everybody on Saturday because we’re playing a very athletic, physical team,” Mattinson said. “They’re going to pound the boards.”
Quinn Weidemann (13 points), Alba Sanchez Ramos (11 points) and Grace Ellis (11 points) led a balanced scoring attack in the opener.
It was the effort on the defensive end that turned the game around as the Cowgirls outscored CSU Pueblo 24-6 in the third quarter after trailing at the intermission.
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“We knew that team was really athletic,” Weidemann said. “They have like four D-I transfers, and we played against Alisha Davis before when she was playing at (Northern Colorado). We knew from scout that we needed to (rebound), but I don’t think it hit us until the first quarter, like, ‘Oh, we need to get a body on someone and start boxing out.’”
UW finished with a 44-42 rebounding edge against CSU Pueblo.
The Shockers (1-0) opened the season with a 78-34 victory over Chicago State.
Senior guard Mariah McCully had 13 points, five assists and four steals with Strong and Colbert combining for 15 points and 12 rebounds.
“We put together a challenging schedule,” Mattinson said. “I think our first game out of the bat proved that.”
UW leads the series with Wichita State 2-1. The Cowgirls won the last meeting, 63-55, on Nov. 27, 2010, at a Thanksgiving tournament at Cal State Northridge.
Follow UW beat writer Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn