Box Score |
March 12, 2005
*Today's championship game will be televised on ESPN2 tonight at 10 p.m. MT, Midnight ET. Please note the time change.
With today's victory, New Mexico has now won nine straight MWC Championship games and three straight tournament titles dating back to the 2003 tournament, a Mountain West record.
New Mexico is now 11-3 all-time in the MWC Championship and a perfect 3-0 in the title games, winning in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Utah falls to 9-5 all-time in the tournament. New Mexico has won both meetings with Utah in the MWC Championship, including the 2004 and 2005 title games.
New Mexico's Dionne Marsh, Lindsey Arndt and Mandi Moore, as well as Utah's Kim Smith, made the all-tournament team. Marsh was selected the Most Valuable Player, the first-ever freshman to earn the honor. She is also only one of two freshmen to make the all-tournament team, joining BYU's Erin Thorn in 2000. Arndt was the MVP of last year's tournament, while Smith was also honored as an all-tournament selection last year. Mandi Moore was selected in 2003.
With a combined 84 points, this championship game was not only the lowest scoring final in MWC Championship history, but it was the lowest scoring MWC Tournament game all-time. The previous low was 94 combined points in the Utah (65)-Air Force (29) quarterfinal game in 2000.
Utah's 37 points today marked the first time since Dec. 20, 1993 that the Utes have scored fewer than 40 points (70-39 at Montana). Prior to today's game, Utah was also 17-0 this season when holding its opponent under 55 points.
With 13 rebounds, New Mexico's Mandi Moore set the MWC Championship career rebounding record with 73 career tournament boards. She broke the previous record of 66 set by UNLV's Linda Frohlich (2000-02). She also had 36 rebounds for the 2005 tournament, setting a new record and surpassing Frohlich's mark of 35 set in 2002. Her 13 boards today is also a championship game record, breaking Jennie Overdiek of BYU's mark of 12 set in 2003. Moore added to her MWC Championship career assists mark this week and now has 57 career tournament assists. Over her four-year career, she played in 11 MWC Championship games, which ties BYU's Erin Thorn for the most career championship games played.
With seven field goals today, New Mexico's Dionne Marsh set a MWC Championship tournament record with 25 field goals, surpassing Erin Thorn's mark of 23 set in 2003.
Marsh averaged 13.5 points in two games vs. Utah this season, but earned her average and more in the first half alone as she scored 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting. Marsh finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, her third career double-double.
The Utes did not attempt a free throw in the first half, and were just 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) for the game. New Mexico made twice as many, converting 14-for-22 from the foul line.
Utah shot just 22.4 percent (13-for-58) from the field for the game, including 20 percent (5-for-25) in the second half. The field goal percentage mark and field goals made are both season lows for the Utes, as is the 37 points. Utah's previous lows were all set at Hawaii (52 points, 25.5 percent shooting, 14 field goals made).
Utah tied the MWC Championship final record for steals with eight, matching BYU's mark set in 2000. New Mexico blocked five shots, which ties the MWC Championship final mark, set by Colorado State in 2001. Lindsey Arndt had four blocks, which sets a final record, surpassing Melissa Forest's (New Mexico) mark of three set in 2004.
In the first nine minutes of the second half, the two teams combined for just 11 points total, including six for New Mexico.
Kim Smith made just one of her first 11 field goals. She made a trey in the first seven minutes of the game and then did not score again until the 10:38 mark of the second half. Smith finished with 10 points on 3-for-17 shooting. It was the 37th straight game that Smith has scored in double figures dating back to last season. Smith did have six rebounds.
With 46 rebounds today as a team, New Mexico tallied 124 boards in the tournament, setting a tournament record. The Lobos surpassed UNLV's 2002 mark of 122.
Utah set a tournament record for three-point field goal attempts. With 24 today, the Utes had 71 attempts for the tournament, which surpassed Colorado State's mark of 68 set in 2001.
The game featured three ties and seven lead changes, all in the first half.
Both teams started off with some championship game jitters as Utah started the game 1-for-11 shooting and New Mexico was held scoreless for the first 3:32 of the contest. Five and a half minutes in, the score was just 4-2, New Mexico in the lead. Utah scored the opening bucket of the game and then did not score again for over four minutes until Kim Smith stuck a three-point bucket at the 13:33 mark of the first half.
With the score tied at 14 apiece and under eight minutes remaining in the first half, New Mexico went on a 7-0 spurt to lead, 21-14, with six minutes to go. Dionne Marsh converted a three-point play and Jana Francis made a layup to give the Lobos the advantage. Utah was held scoreless for 4:40 during New Mexico's run.
2005 Mountain West Conference All-Tournament Team
Dionne Marsh, Fr., New Mexico
Mandi Moore, Sr., New Mexico
Lindsey Arndt, Sr., New Mexico
Kim Smith, Jr., Utah
Sheena Moore, Jr., UNLV
MVP - Dionne Marsh, Fr., New Mexico
Attendance totals for the 2005 Mountain West Conference Women's Basketball Championship:
Session 1: 3,321
Session 2: 3,123
Session 3: 4,929
TOTALS: 16,580 (4,145 avg)