Wolf Pack Battle Past Aztecs to Reach Semifinal Round
LAS VEGAS - In what was a tough, physical battle, No. 3 Nevada managed to squeeze past No. 6 San Diego State 53-48 in the fourth quarterfinal contest at the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Women's Basketball Championship at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The Wolf Pack (18-12) will take on reigning MW tournament champion, second-seeded Fresno State (20-10) in the second of Friday's semifinal matchups. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. PT, following No. 5 Wyoming (20-10) versus No. 1 Colorado State (24-6), which gets underway at Noon PT. The Aztecs drop to 13-17 with the loss.
"We're just happy to get a win," said Nevada head coach Jane Albright. "San Diego State is a big and physical team. We're normally a much better offensive team than a defensive team, but that proved to be the opposite (tonight)."
Nevada grabbed control of a back-and-forth game midway through the second half. Junior center Mimi Mungedi spearheaded the Wolf Pack's 12-0 run over a 5:05 span when she returned to the floor after drawing her third foul in the opening two minutes of the second half.
"It was really hard to sit and watch, but I knew my teammates could get it done," said Mungedi, who was on the bench for nearly eight minutes.
The Aztecs would go nearly nine minutes without a field goal in the second half, yet still had a chance to draw even in the final minute, but missed two shots and the Wolf Pack iced the game at the free-throw line, where they converted 16-of-21 attempts in all.
Mungedi and San Diego State's Cierra Warren each finished with seven blocked shots, a new MW tournament record. To go along with the seven blocks, Mungedi scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds. Warren, a senior center, was the lone San Diego State player to break the double-figure barrier, as she finished with 11 points.
"I'm disappointed we lost," said San Diego State head coach Stacie Terry. "Obviously our goal was to win a championship and we fell short. I'm really proud of the way our kids fought tonight. They did not give up and played hard the entire game. I told the kids if we kept the game in the 50's we'd have a shot to win and we did that."