2010 Mountain West Conference Champions!
March 13, 2010
LAS VEGAS (AP) - This time, the San Diego State Aztecs won't have to sweat it out Monday to see if they're going to the women's NCAA tournament.
Behind 22 points from tournament MVP Quenese Davis, the third-seeded Aztecs secured an automatic bid Saturday when they beat Utah 70-60 in overtime for the Mountain West Conference tournament title.
"It's nice for the first time not to be up here crying because we lost," said Jené Morris, who scored six of her 21 points in the extra period.
San Diego State lost last year's title game to Utah, 63-58, then received an NCAA bid. In 2008, they lost the championship to New Mexico and were denied a postseason berth.
The fourth-seeded Utes (22-11) led 55-50 with 5:29 left in regulation but they went the rest of regulation and all of overtime without another field goal.
"I wouldn't say we did anything differently besides kept them off the (offensive) glass," Davis said. "Coach pointed out to us at the timeout if we keep them off the O-glass, we'll be successful, and we were."
San Diego State led early by as many as nine points in the first half, but Utah's Kalee Whipple gave the Utes the lead on a three-point heave at the buzzer heading into the locker room at 34-33.
The Utes looked to be in control of the game with an eight-point lead with only four minutes remaining, but Morris made three baskets and Davis one, while the Aztec defense shutout Utah to tie the score at 56-56.
The Aztecs had a shot to win it in regulation but couldn't get a good look at the basket after calling a timeout with 16 seconds left. Morris' contested 3-pointer was off-target as the horn sounded.
They dominated overtime, however, with Utah's only points coming on a pair of free throws by Janita Badon in the final minute.
Taryn Wicijowski's 19 points led Utah, which fell behind by six in overtime before getting off a shot.
"We couldn't be more excited and proud than to be able to cut down the nets as Mountain West Conference tournament champions," Aztecs coach Beth Burns said after scaling the ladder to put the last snips on the nylon. "We played at a very high level all week long.
"I'm thrilled with the outcome, but I'm not surprised at the outcome."