Boise State goes overtime to win 4th Mountain West title in row
Boise State became the first program to win four consecutive Mountain West women’s basketball tournament championships. The Broncos beat Fresno State.
Fresno State was supposed to be the team of the future in the Mountain West. Led by the freshman twins Hanna and Haley Cavinder, the Bulldogs still might be the school to watch.
Just not quite yet.
Boise State is an experienced championship team that showed why it has been the class of the conference. The Broncos were taken to overtime Wednesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center, but even losing two key players to fouls didn’t keep them from winning the tournament title 80-76.
This was the first time a team has won four consecutive Mountain West tournament championships. With this title, the second-seeded Broncos (24-9) earned the conference’s automatic bid to the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Top-seeded Fresno State (25-7), which has an RPI ranking of No. 61, likely will have to settle for the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Braydey Hodgins and Jade Loville each scored 20 points for Boise State and A’Shanti Coleman had 16.
The Cavinder sisters as well as Aly Gamez each scored 17 points for the Bulldogs. Maddi Utti totaled 16.
Boise State looked to be in control until Fresno State went on a nine-point run to take a 65-64 lead with 3:01 left in regulation.
But the Broncos, despite Hodgins and Coleman fouling out in the final quarter, didn’t go away.
Mallory McGwire converted both ends of a one-and-one with 13.6 seconds remaining to give the Broncos a 71-68 lead. Haley Cavinder then made a 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds for Fresno State to send the game into overtime.
The Broncos took a 78-73 lead with 11 seconds left before Hanna Cavinder’s jumper cut the deficit to three points with four seconds left. After a turnover, Haley Cavinder went to the free-throw line, made the first attempt and purposely missed the second.
Gamez grabbed the rebound and made the basket from the baseline. But the basket was nullified because officials ruled Fresno State called a timeout it did not have.