Memories: Cowgirls Got Their Chance to Play in Cameron Indoor Stadium
From the Desk of Sean O’Sullivan
LARAMIE – Each Friday leading up to the exhibition game against Western State, the Cowgirl coaching staff will share their favorite memories, both on- and off-the-court, from the 2017-18 season. This week features the Cowgirls’ trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“Cameron Indoor Stadium was a great experience because you grow up seeing it on TV,” associate head coach Gerald Mattinson said. “I’ve never had a chance to play there or coach there in my career, so it was great to go there and see what it’s all about and just get the feel of that great, old gym. All of the history that’s around the gym, even as you walk in. You walk through a hall of fame, and you start seeing all the things that are there, the displays, and the names start coming back to you that you’ve watched play. It was just a great experience.”
The Cowgirls were in Durham, N.C., for more than the experience, and were ready for their showdown with No. 14/15 Duke. The Cowgirls played strong in the first half, forcing eight Duke fouls, not allowing a three-point basket and getting to the free throw line. However, the Blue Devils were a little more efficient than the Cowgirls and took a halftime lead.
Out of the break, Duke pushed its lead with a strong third quarter, but the Cowgirls hung tough and played a tight fourth quarter against one of the top teams in one of the most hostile environments in the nation. The Cowgirls eventually dropped the game, 63-40, but the opportunity to play against one of the best teams in country paid dividends for the Cowgirls, as they began conference play after their showdown with one of the ACC’s best.
“We played well, we were in the game for most of the game,” Mattinson said. “It was a trip across the country, and we played well. The kids get a little more confidence and go ‘so we’re right here with these guys, we can play with anybody and the coaches weren’t kidding when they were telling us that.’ I always think when you can go in, especially on the road, and either play well or beat a quality team, that always helps your team’s confidence.”
After the game against Duke, the Cowgirls won seven of their next eight games, opening Mountain West play with a 7-1 record. They picked up a win against eventual MW Tournament champion Boise State on the road, and recorded a Border War win in Fort Collins.
The Cowgirls tested themselves during the non-conference portion of their schedule, and the challenge helped them off to a strong start in league play. The trip to Duke was a great memory for the team and coaches, but it also served as a reminder as to how good the Cowgirls could be.
The Cowgirls return to the court in an exhibition game against Western State on Nov. 2. The game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. Season tickets are available now at GoWyo.com/tickets.