PROVO -- With its conference tournament seeding on the line, the BYU women's basketball team handed New Mexico a 60-45 loss Saturday at the Marriott Center.
Led by its backcourt of Erin Thorn and Stacy Jensen, BYU jumped out to a 35-17 halftime lead. Thorn scored all of her 13 points in the first half, while Jensen scored 10 early to finish with 15 points and eight assists in the game. Sophomore Lisa Osguthorpe came off the bench to score 10.
The Lobos (18-9, 9-5) struggled the entire game with their shooting, knocking down just 20 percent of their shots in the first half and 24 percent total in the game. Freshman center Jordan Adams was the team's leading scorer, going 2-for-12 from the field to end with 10 points.
"This was a great defensive effort," said BYU head coach Trent Shippen. "Give New Mexico credit, they're a good team, but I don't think they played with the same determination we did. This is just a great win for us and our program and gives us some good momentum headed into the (MWC) tournament."
The Cougars (20-7, 10-4) came into the game locked in a three-way second-place tie with Colorado State and New Mexico. Colorado State fell to San Diego State earlier in the day to set the stage for a dual over sole rights to second place in the final Mountain West Conference standings. BYU answered the challenge, leading the entire game and never allowing the Lobos to within more than ten in the second half.
BYU enters the inaugural Mountain West Conference tournament having won six of its last seven. The Cougars will likely be seeded second in the tournament and face San Diego State, who the Cougars have beaten twice this season. The tournament begins Wednesday in Las Vegas.