Day 2 wraps up at the MW women’s basketball tournament

Bailey Bassett

Day two of the Mountain West Championships for women’s basketball is over, and it was a day of thrill. Monday’s matchups saw four games in which four teams advanced to the semifinals, and four teams were sent home.

Fresno State 75 – Nevada 71

Top-seeded Fresno State started the day off against No. 8 seeded Nevada. The game was a nail-biter until the end, as Nevada showed no quit. 

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Throughout the contest, Fresno State showed why they are the top dogs in the Mountain West. They didn’t dominate the scoreboard, but they displayed a variety of skills, making them a tough task for any team sharing the court.

The Cavinder twins, Haley and Hanna, were the stars of this game, specifically Haley. She finished with 26 points, six rebounds and four assists. She also drained four of her nine 3-pointers. Hanna also had a nice game. She had 16 points, and the two sisters only sat out three minutes combined in the game.

The twin phenoms are only freshmen, but they dominated the game. They play with quickness and shiftiness that is rarely seen, and they both ooze confidence. 

Mountain West Player of the Year Maddi Utti looks to pass on March 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

“That first game of the tournament you always get those jitters out, and Nevada had a great win last night,” Fresno State coach Jaime White said. “I think we kind of braved the storm and finished strong.”

Yet Nevada made this game interesting. The final score ended up being 75-71 with Fresno State winning, but Nevada fought until the end. 

It will be tough for the Cavinder twins to have as good of a game as they did again. Nevada implemented a defensive strategy that can possibly work at slowing Fresno State down for the rest of the tournament.

Nevada shut down Mountain West Player of the Year Maddi Utti for most of the game. Against Nevada, Utti only had 12 points and six rebounds. Only four of those points came in the first half. If teams can continue to limit Fresno State’s best player, they may be vulnerable if the Cavinder sisters have an off game. 

SJSU 67 – UNLV 48

San Jose State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas played the second game of the night. The four and five seeds, respectively, fought evenly in the first half, but SJSU was able to pull away as the game progressed.

UNLV’s Rodjanae Wade was a workhorse, but the lady Rebels got little production elsewhere. Wade finished with an absurd 26 points and 21 rebounds

While UNLV ran a one-woman show, SJSU had a well-balanced attack. The team system saw four players hit double figures and helped secure the 67-48 winAyzhiana Basallo was the star with 18 points. Basallo, the floor general, controlled the offense and hit both of her 3-point attempts. 

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Boise 73 – Air Force 50

Colorado State fans were excited to see the third matchup of the night, one that saw Air Force, the team that knocked the Rams down, playing against Boise State University. After CSU lost to Air Force by a sizable margin, many expected Air Force to give No. 2 seeded Boise State a run for their money. However, Boise State blew the Falcons out in dominant fashion with a final score of 73-50. 

Air Force has been a bad shooting team all year long, and the Rams’ game plan was to let them shoot. That backfired for CSU, as Air Force had a good night from behind the arc. Against Boise State, Air Force returned to their poor shooting marks. The Falcons shot 5-22 from deep. On the other end, Boise State was efficient, shooting 7-19 from deep and 27-59 overall. A’shanti Coleman had 23 points and was a plus 30.

Wyoming 64 – Utah State 59 

The final game of the night was Utah State vs. Wyoming. Entering the matchup, Utah State had the Cinderella story of the tourney thus far. As the lowest seed in the tournament, they won their first-round matchup against San Diego State University. However, their story came to a close as Wyoming won 64-59. Taylor Rusk, Tereza Vitulova and Quinn Weidemann all had 16 points or above in an all-around team effort.

On Tuesday, Fresno State will take on San Jose State while Boise State will face off against Wyoming. 

 

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  • Haley Cavinder makes a reverse layup on March 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • A referee watches the Fresno State Nevada Game on Mar. 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Rodjanae Wade goes for the tip off on Mar. 2. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Twins, Haley and Hanna Cavinder, walk onto the court for the 3 quarter on Mar. 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • San Jose State basketball player Cydni Lewis dribbles the ball on March 2. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Fresno State basketball players and twins, Hanna and Haley Cavinder, walk onto the court for the third quarter on March 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Mountain West Player of the Year Maddi Utti looks to pass on Mar. 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Haley Cavinder shoots the ball on Mar. 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Hanna Cavinder dribbles the ball on March 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Hanna Cavinder shoots the ball on March 2. The Bulldogs won against the Wolf Pack 75-71. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

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Bailey Bassett can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @baileybassett_