Cougars Advance With Quarterfinal Win Over CSU

Ambrosia Anderson led the Cougars with 20 points and nine rebounds as BYU advanced to the semifinals of the MWC Tournament. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

DENVER -- The No. 19 BYU women's basketball team opened up the Mountain West Conference Tournament Wednesday in fine fashion, defeating eighth-seeded Colorado State 65-45 to move into the semifinals. The league-champion Cougars will next take on the winner of the late game between TCU and Wyoming on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

"I've told everybody that we have four stages of a season," said MWC Coach of the Year Jeff Judkins. "This is number four -- the postseason. We've done well in the first three stages but we have to do well in number four to have a successful season. This game was a step in the right direction."

The 24-4 Cougars were led by MWC Co-Player of the Year Ambrosia Anderson, who recorded 20 points and nine rebounds, marking the 24th time she has paced BYU in scoring and the 14th time she has done so on the boards. All-MWC Second-Teamer Dani Kubik was the Cougars' only other double-digit scorer with 10 points while contributing six rebounds. Mallary Gillespie led BYU with four assists. With the win, the Cougars are now 20-1 when leading at the half this season and have recorded five wins of 20 points or more over conference opponents.

After a fruitless opening possession for the Cougars, the Rams struck first and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. The advantage was short-lived, however, as BYU scored the next eight points in the game, including two buckets from three-point range. CSU battled right back with consecutive long-range makes of its own to retake the lead at 10-8.

Two free throws from Kubik tied the game at 10-10, but both teams went cold from the floor over the next two minutes, preserving the tie until Anderson drained her second three-pointer of the night at the 14:02 mark. Kubik's free throws proved to be a good omen for BYU as the Cougars once again scored eight straight to take a 16-10 lead.

The Rams battled back over the next five minutes, chipping away at the lead until a three-pointer from the CSU's Sara Hunter gave her team a 21-20 advantage. BYU's Jennie Keele took over from there, scoring the next four points of the game to spark a 9-1 run during which the Rams were scoreless from the field for over six minutes.

CSU recovered in the final 1:30 of the half to outscore BYU 4-0, but the Cougars still went into the locker room with a 29-26 lead despite shooting just 37 percent in the half compared to the Rams' 52.9 percentage.

The Cougars came out hot in the second half, making their first three shots to spark a 13-0 run and extend their lead to 42-26. The Rams scored their first points of the half at the 14:06 mark but BYU came right back with another 8-0 run, all from Anderson, to take a commanding 50-28 lead. The Cougars outscored the Rams 21-2 in the first nine minutes of the second half.

"We came out a little bit flat to start the game and kind of played back and forth," said Judkins. "I know that we're a good second half team. We really focus ourselves make adjustments and know what we're doing."

The tempo slowed down in the final 10 minutes of the game as BYU maintained its sizeable advantage. Solid free-throw shooting helped the Rams avoid the most lopsided half in MWC Tournament history but was not enough to get back in the game as the Cougars cruised to the 65-45 win.

The Rams made just five of their 25 attempts in the second half (.200) to post a 33.3 percent shooting mark for the game while recording 25 turnovers in the game to just nine assists. BYU shot 40.4 percent for the game while capitalizing on 15 steals.

"I think we did really well on defense tonight," said Kubik. "That was our big focus. We made sure they didn't have any open shots."

Friday's semifinal game can be seen live on CSTV as well as being heard on the BYU Radio Network. Live stats are also available on the schedule page of the women's basketball homepage at www.byucougars.com.

Official Basketball Box Score

Colorado State Women vs BYU Women

3-8-06 6:00 p.m. at Denver, Colo. (Pepsi Center)

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VISITORS: Colorado State Women 9-20 (2-14 MWC)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

32 DENNETT, Melissa.... f 2-9 0-0 2-2 4 6 10 1 6 1 4 2 0 32

45 THOMAS, Lindsay..... c 2-5 0-0 0-0 2 3 5 3 4 0 4 0 1 28

04 HUNTER, Sara........ g 3-9 2-5 2-2 0 5 5 2 10 1 7 0 3 36

05 ESPINOZA, Vanessa... g 4-11 0-2 7-8 0 2 2 0 15 3 5 0 2 39

20 NOHR, Molly......... g 1-2 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 4 3 0 1 1 1 25

12 SQUARE, Justine..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

15 KRAMER, Liz......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4

30 SHEPHERD, Casie..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2

31 SAMUELSON, Ashley... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

33 WILLHITE, Brianna... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

51 MOULTON, Marilyn.... 2-6 0-0 3-4 2 7 9 3 7 0 1 1 1 30

TEAM................ 1 1 2 1

Totals.............. 14-42 3-8 14-16 9 27 36 13 45 5 25 4 9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-17 52.9% 2nd Half: 5-25 20.0% Game: 33.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-4 75.0% 2nd Half: 0-4 0.0% Game: 37.5% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 9-10 90.0% Game: 87.5% 2

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HOME TEAM: BYU Women 24-4 (13-3 MWC)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

33 ANDERSON, Ambrosia.. f 8-17 2-5 2-5 3 6 9 0 20 2 4 0 2 29

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... f 1-4 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 2 3 0 0 0 4 28

45 KUBIK, Dani......... c 2-5 0-0 6-6 3 3 6 3 10 1 2 0 1 24

15 KEELE, Jennie....... g 3-5 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 2 6 1 4 0 0 18

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 3-7 2-3 0-0 2 2 4 1 8 4 1 0 3 27

01 SELJAAS, Nancy...... 1-5 1-4 0-0 1 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 1 12

10 STRATTON, Laura..... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 4 1 0 1 18

13 AINA, Rachel........ 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+

23 BROWN, Brit......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

24 HUTSON, Vanessa..... 2-3 2-3 2-2 0 0 0 1 8 1 1 0 1 12

32 SLADE, Shawnee...... 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 15

41 FADDIS, Brittany.... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

52 RILEY, Lauren....... 3-4 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 4 7 1 1 0 1 11

54 KING, Cassie........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

TEAM................ 1 1 2

Totals.............. 23-57 8-22 11-15 11 19 30 17 65 16 14 0 15 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-27 37.0% 2nd Half: 13-30 43.3% Game: 40.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-10 40.0% 2nd Half: 4-12 33.3% Game: 36.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-8 62.5% 2nd Half: 6-7 85.7% Game: 73.3% 0

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Officials: Connie Pardue, Mike Petty, Rick Morris

Technical fouls: Colorado State Women-None. BYU Women-None.

Attendance:

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Colorado State Women.......... 26 19 - 45

BYU Women..................... 29 36 - 65

ID-431208

Tags: Results