* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowgirls open Women’s NIT play Friday night as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi comes to the Arena-Auditorium for a 6:30 tip.

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Friday’s game will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network and can be heard across the Cowgirl Radio Network with David Settle on the call.

This will be the 11th time in program history that Wyoming will play in the WNIT and boast a 19-9 record all-time in the tournament, including claiming the 2007 title. Last season, the Cowgirls made it to the Super 16 round of the WNIT, losing an 82-81 heartbreaker in triple overtime to UCLA. UW has played all but two contests of the WNIT all-time, at home.

The Cowgirls (22-10) earned the Mountain West’s automatic bid to the tournament. Wyoming is coming off a 71-60 loss in the Mountain West Tournament Championship Game to nationally-ranked UNLV.

Allyson Fertig and Malene Pedersen were named to All-Tournament Team last week. Pedersen led the Cowgirls in scoring in the three games of the tournament, averaging 15 points per game, including scoring a career-high 24 in the quarterfinals against San Jose State. Pedersen also averaged five rebounds and three assists per game in Las Vegas.

Fertig, meanwhile, averaged 11.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting 57.7-percent from the floor. Fertig recorded back-to-back double-doubles in the wins against SJSU and Colorado State.

Fertig, Pedersen and Quinn Weidemann all earned All-Mountain West honors this season. Fertig and Weidemann were both named to the All-Mountain West Team for the first time in their careers while Weidemann was also named to the All-Defensive Team for the third time. Pedersen became the second-straight Cowgirl to earn Freshman of the Year honors.

The all-time top-10 postseason records list is littered with current Cowgirls. Weidemann is third in program history with 206 total points during her postseason career and is second all-time with 49 assists. Tommi Olson is second with 21 career postseason steals and is fifth with 38 assists. Fertig is tops in program history averaging 11.3 rebounds per game in seven career postseason contests.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is led by the Southland’s two-time Defensive Player of the Year in Alecia Westbrook.

Westbrook was also named the SLC’s Player of the Year this season after averaging 12.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Westbrook led the Islanders with 25 total blocks and two steals per game.

Makinna Serrata joined Westbrook on the All-SLC Team and was tied with a team-leading 12.6 points per game. Serrata, Westbrook and Bruna Anguera are the three Islanders to have started in all 30 games this season.

As a team, TAMU-CC is averaging 62.4 points per game and is allowing just 55.8 per, defensively. The Islanders are shooting 40-percent from the floor and 30.6-percent from 3-point range. Corpus Christi oppponents are shooting just under 37-percent from the field and just 28-percent from beyond-the-arc.

The Islanders are outrebounding their opponents by nearly 4.5 boards a contest. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was the co-champions of the Southland this season.

Wyoming is 2-0 all-time against the Islanders. The Cowgirls won 64-60 in 2000 in Corpus Christi and 72-70 a season later in Laramie.

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