BYU Tops UNLV to Take MWC Championship | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Tops UNLV to Take MWC Championship

LAS VEGAS - (March 9, 2002) -- After two straight years as runner-up, the BYU women's basketball team won its first-ever Mountain West Conference Championship, defeating the Rebels of UNLV 61-46 on their home floor at the Thomas & Mack Center.

BYU defeated a scrappy Wyoming team and a tough New Mexico squad that had swept the Cougars in the regular season to reach the championship game. UNLV rode its home court advantage to victories over Utah and conference-leading Colorado State before being stuffed by the Cougars.

"We're very happy right now, this is something we've wanted and worked hard for all year," said head coach Jeff Judkins. "We knew if we could be playing our best ball at this time we had a chance."

BYU jumped to an early 8-2 lead but faltered as UNLV came back to tie the game at 14 with 8:40 left in the first. It was all BYU after that as the Cougars held the Rebels to 17 first-half points on 35 percent shooting. Freshman Kali Taylor hit a lay-up in the closing seconds of the first to give BYU a 31-17 lead at the break.

"This was one of our best defensive efforts," said Judkins, "especially in the first half, holding UNLV to just 17 points."

The Cougars continued the rout in the opening minutes of the second, scoring the first eight points of the half to build a 22-point lead before UNLV came alive offensively. The Rebels fought relentlessly and came within 10 with 5:06 remaining, but it proved to be too little too late as BYU pulled away for the 15-point victory.

Melanie Pearson's 15 points led four Cougars in double figures. Jennifer Leitner chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds while freshman Danielle Cheesman followed with 10 points and five rebounds. All-American Erin Thorn added 10 points to the effort while setting tournament records for points (60) and three-point field goals made (12).

Constance Jinks of UNLV led all scorers with 19 points while the Cougars held MWC Player of the Year Linda Frohlich to 11 points on the night.

"Jinks and Frohlich are two of the best players I've ever had to coach against," said Judkins. "I thought that Jennifer Leitner and Lisa Osguthorpe did a good job on both of them."

BYU shot 40 percent from the field and 36 percent from behind the arc while the defense smothered the Rebels, holding UNLV to 31 percent shooting from the field and 18 percent from three-point land.

This year marks the first time a No. 3 seed has won the conference tournament title.

As MWC champion, BYU earns its fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament and enters the tournament on a six-game winning streak, its best since taking a nine-game winning streak into the 1983-1984 tournament. The Cougars' last trip to the NCAA Tournament came in 1999-2000, where they lost to Oklahoma 86-81.

The NCAA Selection Committee will announce seeding for the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 10. It will be televised live at 3 p.m. MST on ESPN.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

UNLV vs BYU

03/09/02 3:30 PM at Las Vegas, Nevada

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VISITORS: UNLV 23-7, 9-5 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

13 FROHLICH, Linda..... f 4-10 1-3 2-3 1 3 4 5 11 2 6 1 0 31

55 MCCRACKLIN, Dishawn. c 2-2 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 0 4 0 1 0 0 11

03 DAVIS, Kinesha...... g 2-6 1-3 1-2 1 6 7 3 6 0 0 0 0 28

11 GRAY, Julia......... g 0-2 0-1 0-0 1 4 5 1 0 5 1 0 1 31

23 JINKS, Constance.... g 6-19 0-2 7-10 3 3 6 4 19 0 4 0 2 40

15 GLASER, Petra....... 1-7 0-0 2-2 2 1 3 4 4 0 3 0 0 31

24 JOHANSSON, Erin..... 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 0 1 0 10

30 MITCHELL, Talisha... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 9

44 SWANSON, Courtney... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2

54 MCCRACKLIN, Sherry.. 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 0 2 0 2 7

TEAM................ 1 4 5

Totals.............. 16-51 2-11 12-17 11 27 38 22 46 9 18 2 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 6-23 26.1% 2nd Half: 10-28 35.7% Game: 31.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-3 33.3% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 18.2% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-5 80.0% 2nd Half: 8-12 66.7% Game: 70.6% 3

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HOME TEAM: BYU 22-8, 10-4 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

21 LEITNER, Jennifer... f 3-8 2-4 4-4 2 5 7 3 12 2 2 1 2 34

31 OSGUTHORPE, Lisa.... f 2-3 0-0 2-2 0 3 3 1 6 0 1 0 0 21

51 CHEESMAN, Danielle.. f 4-7 0-0 2-4 3 2 5 3 10 1 3 2 1 30

11 THORN, Erin......... g 4-9 2-4 0-0 0 4 4 1 10 2 2 0 3 37

22 JENSEN, Stacy....... g 1-7 0-2 4-4 0 4 4 4 6 2 0 0 0 36

05 LEWIS, Amy.......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

12 PEARSON, Melanie.... 7-16 0-1 1-4 2 3 5 3 15 2 2 0 1 26

20 LARSON, Brittany.... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2

23 ROSE, Chanell....... 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 7

25 TAYLOR, Kali........ 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1

30 BROWN, MELISSA...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+

32 CASPER, Aspen....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+

45 HANSEN, Lisa........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 5

TEAM................ 2 2

Totals.............. 22-55 4-11 13-18 8 26 34 17 61 9 11 3 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-33 42.4% 2nd Half: 8-22 36.4% Game: 40.0% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-6 16.7% 2nd Half: 3-5 60.0% Game: 36.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-2 100 % 2nd Half: 11-16 68.8% Game: 72.2% 3

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Officials: Eric Larson, Connie Pardue, Robert Strong

Technical fouls: UNLV-None. BYU-None.

Attendance:

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

UNLV.......................... 17 29 - 46

BYU........................... 31 30 - 61