New Mexico just picked up their ticket to the dance and won't have to worry about over sleeping and missing the NCAA tournament selection show tomorrow.
Helping them to enjoy sleeping in tomorrow morning are the performances of Marsh (team leading 20 points), Briody (14 points), Katie Montgomery (13 points) and Brandi Kimble (10 points and a team leading nine rebounds).
While these were the leaders, it was their total team effort of shooting 44% from the field, tough defense that made it tough for BYU to connect on their shots and getting it done from the free throw line with 82% shooting.
BYU was not on their game today. The Cougars were led by Gillespie (17 points), Shawnee Slade (14 points) and Riley (10 points and 14 rebounds).
With this win, the Lobos claim their fourth MWC Tournament Championship.
New Mexico's Dionne Marsh connected on both of her free throws with 55 seconds left, the Lobo and Cougar scrubs are on the floor and I finally got to see my upset in conference tournament time as New Mexico beat BYU 63-49.
The awards are about to be handed out, so stay tuned!
Competitive games are fun, but with the way fouls are being called (or shall I say NOT being called), someone is going to get hurt.
Two minutes ago New Mexico's Timi E-Nunu got kicked in the head after being body checked to the ground by BYU's Riley. E-Nunu is currently on the sidelines with a bag of ice on her nose. Do you think Riley was called for a foul??? You only get one guess and there are only two letters in the word...
Next seeing how New Mexico got called for a very questionable fouldown on the BYU side of the floor, I am starting to believe in a possible BYU favoritism.
I could be wrong, but there is something that is just a little off...
So my editor Jeff flirted his way to a t-shirt last weekend and fellow blogger Jessica is getting shafted on the media meals, but the MWC just upped the ante in my book.
Fans were give ralley towels as they entered the Thomas & Mack Center today and the media are being well-taken care of. Since I am a fan of the game, I felt I too (and Jeff and Jessica) should all get ralley towels.
Keep your eye on your mail guys, there's a rally towel being thrown your way!
BYU's Gillespie had the hot hand last night, but right now she seems to have a bit of a hot head.
After all, she is the only one of their players who is visibly yelling at the refs right before coach Judkins got his turn.
The intensity of Gillespies' yelling was so obvious that I wonder if she is working her way to a technical foul. Then again, after chatting with one of the coaches scouting out the BYU men's game last night, there's a thought that the BYU teams don't get as many fouls called on them and are suspect to getting some unfair treatment.
To my left Cosmo Cougar from BYU is running around while to my right, there is a female Lobo, or some type of wolf, dressed up in a cheerleader's uniform and with a bow in her left ear cheering on fans.
I have to say that the Lobo mascot might be perceived as being a little sketchy looking as her teeth are exposed and her tongue is hanging out the right side of her mouth.
Cosmo on the other hand is very much in touch with his masculine side as he some muscle tone in that fur.
I'm kind of disappointed as they never have the two mascots meet.
Stay tuned...New Mexico is opening up their lead and BYU is looking a bit frustrated as the calls are not going their way and they are not connecting on their shots giving them a current 21% shooting percentage.
New Mexico vs. BYU: Lobos start by hitting the duece
New Mexico is making it very clear that they do not want BYU walking over them this game.
First the Lobos score the first bucket of the night and then their defense is reading the BYU offense very well in these opening minutes. Complimenting hitting the duece was a steal by Dionne Marsh who was guarding BYU's Lauren Riley down in the paint past part of their zone rotation. Next, Marsh picked off a pass, and earned her second steal for the game, from BYU guard Mallary Gillespie.
The Lobos lead was short-lived as BYU's Danni Wright scored their first points of the night, but if the Lobos can keep this up, their post-season future will be guaranteed.
After claiming the regular-season title, BYU just gave themselves the opportunity to also earn the MWC tournament title with their 55-49 win.
Sure the Cougars had to fend off that enormous Utah run and avoid a total meltdown themselves, but every foul and Wright's cut on the chin from a foul, all seem to be worth it right now.
Wright led all BYU scores with 14 points, but with teammates Gillespie (13 points and nine rebounds) and Johnsen (12 points) right behind her, the Cougars were too much for Utah tonight.
Utah also had three players in double digits (Whipple, Filipe and Warner), but considering they shot a mere 31% as a team compared to BYU's 42% shooting, it just wasn't in the cards for the Utes today.
BYU heads into the finals facing New Mexico tomorrow at 2 pm.
BYU's Riley and Utah's Joh-Teena Filipe have been battling it out all game.
Granted that Riley has two inches on Filipe, but after both of them brought the other one down to the ground under the BYU net, it's this kind of fire and desire to win that has made this game go from a blow out to Utah now leading by five.
It has also helped Utah's cause to force a couple of turnovers on steals and frustrate BYU's offense a bit.
After trailing by eight at halftime, the Utes have spent the first five minutes of the second half chipping away at the lead.
The result, we are all tied up at 34.
I don't believe that BYU is losing their edge, but with the Utes shooting 50% from the field compared to BYU shooting 33%, the post-season picture may look really interesting for the teams from the MWC.
After sitting in the Western version of New Mexico's The Pit, the BYU and Utah fans are much quieter.
Sure, they cheer and jeer when fouls are called, but I don't have a screamer behind me and there is just a more mellow mood now in the Thomas & Mack Center. Maybe it's the lack of caffeine in this crowd's system that is making it quiet.
The Cougars have made quick work of the Utes and continue to expand their lead, now at 28-19
Even Wyoming coach Joe Legerski didn't like what he was seeing and needed a time out.
After New Mexico opened up the first half with an 8-0 run, the Lobos are off and running again.
The Cowgirls are having a tough time in the opening half of the second half and it is showing. Yes, they traded baskets with the Lobos to open it up, but as New Mexico is opening up their lead, one can't help but wonder if the second half is going to be much like the first where the Cowgirls are going to make their move again in the last 10 minutes of the half.
Coach Legerski's first time out didn't seem to help much, so maybe this second one will be the trick.
Despite playing tough defense, it just got shot down from NBA three point land.
With the shot clock running out and non of her teammates being able to get close to the basket, Wyoming's Hanna Zavecz just nailed a three pointer and Megan McGuffey made a smoth move and a hook shot that is keeping the Cowgirls in this.
It's now halftime and after a slow start, Wyoming is not out of this quite yet.
The New Mexico women's basketball team is pretty relentless (just like the loud obnoxious fan sitting behind me).
With a current 47% shooting percentage compared to Wyoming's dismal 31% shooting percentage, this game has gotten ugly very quickly.
Adding to the dismal shooting percentage for Wyoming is a New Mexico defensive effort that has alread created one shot clock violation for the cowgirls is the slight 13-11 edge on the boards for the Lobos.
However, in the short amount of time I have been writing this, Wyoming is turning it around and their fans are loving it.
Stay tuned, we have less than five minutes in the half...
First there is the New Mexico fan straight across from me with his face painted all red and wearing Viking horns.
Then there is the Wyoming fan who is not wearing a shirt or pants, but the only visible pieces of clothing are the glittering gold wheel barrel being held up by suspenders, a cowboy hat, white tube socks that are up to his needs and a pair of cowboy boots. I bet you are wondering how he is going to sit down...I'll have to get the story during half time.
Each school is also well represented by their larger than life mascot, but I think the fans may be the second biggest source of entertainment next to the game itself.
Stay tuned...New Mexico is continuing their dominance...
After getting the tip off and almost losing the ball due to not getting the offensive board, New Mexco's Marsh picked up a nice two-foot shot while Brandi Kimble followed that up with a three-pointer on their next posession.
New Mexico is taking control of this game early on and Wyoming is having problems connecting on their shots and with a Wymoning offensive foul on their most recent possession, the Lobos are currently enjoying an 8-0 lead.
New Mexico vs. Wyoming: Getting ready to roll in Vegas
There's still about 30 minutes before tip off, but with one of the broadcasters from The Mountain West Sports Network donning an over-sized Wymoing Cowboy (er, Cowgirl) hat for his pre-game stand-up, both teams are on the floor and getting ready to roll for this first of two semi-final games today.
Ulike the Pac-10 fans, Mountain West Conference fans seem to have no shame as I've seen a couple of New Mexico fans with their faces painted (only men would do something silly like this) and a few signs have popped up in the stands.