The first semifinal of the Mountain West Conference women’s tournament was won by Utah on a runner in the lane by Morgan Warburton.
The shot lifted the Utes to a 56-55 win over New Mexico and gave the Utah fans their second buzzer-beating victory of the tournament on the heels of Lawrence Borha’s game-winner in the men’s game last night.
Today, Utah trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half before storming back.
Warburton made just 4 of 15 shots, but came through in the clutch. Kalee Whipple led the team with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Amy Beggin scored a game-high 16 for New Mexico, but the 88 percent free-throw shooter missed two with 12 seconds to play to set up Warburton’s heroics.
Lady Rebs set for semifinal action
The UNLV women’s team has been the surprise of the tournament thus far, winning two games in the new bizarro women’s bracket to get into the semifinals.
Now, the No. 7 seed is set to tip off against second-seeded San Diego State.
The Aztecs won both regular-season meetings, but UNLV stayed close at Cox Pavilion in the second meeting and is playing its best basketball of the year.
Both teams got some good news from the morning outcome.
Though the winner of this matchup will have to play top-seeded Utah, at least New Mexico is gone.
The Lobo fans are intense and support the women’s team almost as much as the men’s team.
They were out in full force and very loud this morning, so at least they won’t be a factor in the championship game tomorrow.
Get me out of here!
After the New Mexico men’s team was upset by Wyoming last night, both of the team’s radio announcers were busy on laptops during the pregame show.
One of the men had the box score called up on his screen and was running down the numbers from the loss.
The other gentleman was on the Southwest Airlines Web site.
Likely, he planned on staying through New Mexico’s long run in the tournament and when their season ended unexpectedly, he was looking for the next flight out.
Be careful what you wish for
It was Utah coach Elaine Elliott that pushed for the new tournament format that gives the league’s two top seeds a bye into the semifinals.
She did so because her team won the league title last season, but lost in the quarterfinals.
The move could have cost her team had they not been saved by Morgan Warburton’s shot.
Elliott’s team sits squarely on the bubble for the NCAA women’s tournament and a loss in their first conference tournament game could have been devastating.