Fresno State Captures Second Straight MW Tournament Title

Follow @MW_WHoops on Twitter Twitter | Championship Central

LAS VEGAS - Bree Farley scored 26 points as Fresno State led from the opening basket and beat top-seeded Colorado State 77-68 to win the Mountain West Conference tournament title Saturday night, earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Fresno State (22-10), the conference's second seed, opened the second half on a 15-8 run to extend its lead to 51-39 lead with 11:50 left, then held fought off Colorado State's rally that saw the Rams close the gap by scoring 12 of the game's next 17 points. Colorado State got as close as five, with 5:25 left, but it wasn't enough.

Taylor Thompson added 23 points and nine rebounds for Fresno State, which won the Mountain West tournament for the second time in its two years in the conference.

Gritt Ryder scored 18 points to lead the Rams (25-7), and Ellen Nystrom had 15 rebounds to go along with her six points.

Leading 56-51, Fresno State got a 3-pointer from Robin Draper, a driving, left-handed lay-up from Thompson and short jumper from Jacinta Vandenberg to push the lead back to double digits — 63-51 — with 2:39 left.

Thompson, the league's co-defensive player of the year and tournament MVP, led the Bulldogs' defensive prowess, which limited the Rams to just 32.4 percent shooting from the floor, including 4 for 28 (.143) from 3-point range. Fresno State also outrebounded the Rams, 43-38.