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Dave Walsh: How ‘Bout Them Postseason-Bound Cowgirls?

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By Dave Walsh, Columnist

How ’bout them Cowgirls?

I know that’s not proper English, but we’ve been using it for decades when it comes to the University of Wyoming Cowboys. As in, “How ’bout them Cowboys?”

But I’m talking Cowgirls here. And I’m talking UW women’s basketball when I say, “How ’bout  them Cowgirls?”

The Cowgirls are in sit-back-and-wait mode at the moment. 

After a very solid season, a second-place finish in the Mountain West Conference regular season and a run to the finals of the Mountain West Conference postseason tournament, the Cowgirls are waiting to hear if their season will continue.

Wyoming saw its regular season come to a close Wednesday after a hard-fought loss to nationally ranked UNLV on the Lady Rebels home court, the Thomas and Mack Center. And now with a 22-10 overall record, the Cowgirls will wait to find out if they’ll be invited to play in the postseason. 

Bids are to be handed out Sunday. The Women’s National Invitational Tournament will announce its participants after the NCAA Tournament field Is filled.

And really, there should be no “if” attached here. There should be no question as to whether the Cowgirls will play in the postseason.

The Cowgirls final record should be enough to get them in; 22 victories should be plenty to qualify. Add to that a runner-up finish, second place in the Mountain West Conference, and it seems the Cowgirls have done more than enough to play on.

So, I am going to go ahead and assume the Wyoming Cowgirls will be a postseason participant. I mean, all things considered, how could they not?

Wyoming will be going into the postseason on the rise. The Cowgirls lost the last game they played, but they played well against No. 21 UNLV. Wyoming had won five games in a row, and 10 of their last 12, prior to that loss Wednesday. 

Postseason selection committees love to invite teams that are playing well. After the automatic bids are given to conference champs, the rest of the postseason field is filled with teams that have outstanding overall records and are playing well.

The Cowgirls certainly meet both of those standards. Wyoming has accomplished so much this season, and there is more to come. 

The Cowgirls have had outstanding performances from the entire lineup this season and great leadership from their starters.

The two graduates, Quinn Weidemann and Tommi Olson, and sophomore Allyson Fertig have had All-Conference seasons. Malene Pedersen and Grace Ellis round out the starting five, and Emily Mallema, Tess Barnes,and Marta Savic have come off the bench to make major contributions all season long. 

Bailey Wilborn, Ola Ustowska, Paula Salazar, Grace Moyers and Lexi Bull round out the roster, and all have contributed and deserve mention.

And what a season it has been for Cowgirls head basketball coach Heather Ezell and her staff. The head coach, in her first year at the post, has had quite a season leading the Cowgirls. Her leadership has been a big factor in Wyoming’s outstanding season.

Ezell has given a lot to the UW program this season.

Along with guiding the team of a great record, the head coach also gave birth this season.

Serving as the head coach, working the sidelines on game day, winning a bunch of games and having a baby – all in a season’s work for Ezell.

The coach has certainly put together a quality staff as well.

Ryan Larsen, the associate head coach, has filled in admirably when needed. Assistant coach Fallon Lewis, the former outstanding Cowgirl, assistant coach Brooke Atkinson, and director of operations and former Cowgirl Natalie Baker fill out the basketball coaching staff.

It has been quite a year for Cowgirls basketball, and there is more to come.

How ’bout them Cowgirls?

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