It's not easy to get the monkey off your back. But BYU's women's basketball team did just that beating CSU 77-69 in the first of two semifinal games in the inaugural McLeodUSA MWC Women's Basketball Championships, Friday.
CSU was the only team BYU had not beaten during this year's conference schedule. The last time the Cougars defeated the Rams dates back to the 1994-95 season.
The win improves the Cougars record to 22-7,10-4 on the year extending their current winning streak to six. CSU finishes the season with a 20-9, 9-5 record.
At half-time the game was all tied up at 31-31 after a hard fought close game that saw nine ties and five lead changes.
In the second half, the Cougars' defense stepped up a few notches and kept the Rams from getting any easy baskets.
"We played extremely well and our tough defense was once again the deciding factor, and I'm also pleased with our bench play throughout the entire game"said BYU head coach Trent Shippen. " Our bench players kept us in the game while we had to sit our starter because of foul trouble. Jennifer Lietner came off the bench to give us some critical points and rebounds. Jill Adams also stepped up in the second half and she had an outstanding game as well."
BYU shot 51 percent from the field and 65 percent at the free-throw line making their final nine points from the line. Senior Jill Adams led the Cougars' effort with 16 points followed by 11 points from Erin Thorn and Stacy Jensen. BYU got 40 points in the paint compared to 18 for CSU.
Angie Gorton led the Rams in scoring with 19 points and seven rebounds. CSU shot 43 percent from the field and 83 percent at the free-throw line.
Saturday nights women's championship final will pit BYU and Utah, the two top seeded teams coming in to the tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game can be seen live on ESPN beginning at 9:30 p.m., PT. Utah defeated UNLV 67-65 in the other women's semifinal game.