MWC Title, Judkins' 100th Win

BYU defeated CSU Thursday night to secure the MWC regular season title and earn head coach Jeff Judkins his 100th win. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

FT. COLLINS -- BYU overcame a sharp-shooting Colorado State team and a sluggish first half to defeat the Rams, 69-67, Thursday evening in Colorado and secure first place in the Mountain West Conference. The win moves the Cougars to 23-3 overall and 13-2 in league play, while CSU falls to 8-18 on the season and 2-13 during MWC action.

"I'm very proud of this team," head coach Jeff Judkins said. "This is the way we've played on the road all year. Our team is solid and confident. We know that if we get down, we have the talent and ability to come back and win the ball game. That is exactly what we did tonight."

The game marked several milestones for the Cougars. With BYU defeating CSU and Utah losing to TCU, the Cougars secured the MWC regular season title, a feat the team has not accomplished since the 1992-93 season. The victory also marked Judkins' 100th win of his career. The Cougars are now an astounding 13-0 on the road with only one more road game of the regular season.

"Obviously winning the MWC title is great," Judkins said. "We haven't been here in awhile, so it's nice to win it again. The championship is great for the BYU program and is truly a testament to the girls on the team."

CSU came out strong and determined in the first half, shooting 45 percent from the field, including three of four three pointers from Sara Hunter. Hunter and teammate Vanessa Espinoza led the Rams with 13 points apiece in the first half.

The Cougars, on the other hand, struggled to put the ball in the net as Dani Kubik and Ambrosia Anderson paced BYU with eight and seven points, respectively. BYU shot 42 percent from the field and turned the ball over eight times. The Rams held a 10-point lead at the break, 43-33.

Beginning the second half, BYU looked to find its rhythm against a CSU team that has now dropped its last six games.

Three minutes into the second half, Anderson scored and layup and then immediately nailed a three pointer, closing the gap to six, 46-40.

For the next six minutes, both teams traded baskets back and forth until Lindsay Thomas hit a baseline jumper with 11:15 remaining to give CSU an eight-point lead, 58-50.

The Rams then went on a nine-minute drought that allowed BYU to score 16 unanswered points to take a 66-58 lead. During the run, Anderson scored six points, followed by Mallary Gillespie and Dani Kubik with four apiece and Lauren Riley with two.

Espinoza finally hit a three pointer with 1:54 remaining in the game to cut the lead to five, 66-61.

Hunter hit two three pointers for the Rams, bringing CSU within two points, 69-67, with just 21.9 seconds remaining in the game.

BYU's Shawnee Slade was fouled and had the opportunity to put the game away, but missed both free throws.

Hunter tried to make instant offense as the clock ticked away, but Anderson stole the ball with seconds remaining to secure the victory.

The Cougars shot 38 percent from the field, 31.6 from the three-point line and 70.8 percent from behind the charity stripe. Anderson paced BYU with 22 points, followed by Kubik with 18.

Laura Stratton also played 23 minutes, grabbing two rebounds and dishing out three assists.

"I was extremely pleased with Laura's effort and work tonight," Judkins said. "She may not always get a lot of minutes, but she is a very solid player who is able to stay calm and direct the team. She played great tonight."

Hunter led the Rams with 27 points, including shooting 7-9 from behind the arc. Espinoza added 16 points. CSU shot 41.9 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from the three-point line, while hitting 85.7 percent of their free throws.

BYU travels to New Mexico on Saturday to face the Lobos at 2 p.m. in its last regular season game.

Official Basketball Box Score

BYU Cougars vs Colorado State

03-02-06 7 p.m. at Fort Collins, Colo. (Moby Arena)

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VISITORS: BYU Cougars 23-3 (13-2 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 8-23 4-12 2-5 1 11 12 0 22 2 3 2 1 35

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... f 1-6 0-2 1-2 1 4 5 3 3 3 1 0 1 35

45 KUBIK, Dani......... c 6-13 0-0 6-7 4 4 8 4 18 1 3 1 2 29

15 KEELE, Jennie....... g 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 12

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 1-6 1-4 6-6 0 3 3 1 9 5 3 0 2 32

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

10 STRATTON, Laura..... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 3 1 0 0 23

24 HUTSON, Vanessa..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 5

32 SLADE, Shawnee...... 2-2 1-1 0-2 1 1 2 1 5 0 1 0 0 14

52 RILEY, Lauren....... 4-7 0-0 1-1 4 2 6 2 9 0 0 0 1 11

TEAM................ 3 2 5

Totals.............. 23-60 6-19 17-24 14 30 44 14 69 15 13 3 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-31 41.9% 2nd Half: 10-29 34.5% Game: 38.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-8 37.5% 2nd Half: 3-11 27.3% Game: 31.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-5 80.0% 2nd Half: 13-19 68.4% Game: 70.8% 2

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HOME TEAM: Colorado State 8-18 (2-13 MWC)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

20 NOHR, Molly......... f 4-10 1-5 0-0 1 2 3 5 9 2 3 1 0 33

32 DENNETT, Melissa.... f 1-7 0-0 0-0 1 7 8 2 2 2 1 0 0 36

45 THOMAS, Lindsay..... c 3-9 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 4 6 3 1 1 0 24

04 HUNTER, Sara........ g 10-15 7-9 0-0 1 4 5 2 27 3 3 1 0 39

05 ESPINOZA, Vanessa... g 5-16 1-2 5-5 0 2 2 2 16 8 1 0 6 40

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

51 MOULTON, Marilyn.... 3-5 0-0 1-2 0 9 9 2 7 3 0 5 0 27

TEAM................ 3 3 6

Totals.............. 26-62 9-16 6-7 7 28 35 17 67 21 9 8 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-29 58.6% 2nd Half: 9-33 27.3% Game: 41.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-6 50.0% 2nd Half: 6-10 60.0% Game: 56.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-7 85.7% 2nd Half: 0-0 0.0% Game: 85.7% 0

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Officials: Scotty Hermann, Debbie Adams, Hugo Sanchez

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

Attendance: 1305

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU Cougars................... 33 36 - 69

Colorado State................ 43 24 - 67

ID-366925

Tags: Results