Lady Rebels Open MW Tournament Play Wednesday

March 2, 2012

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -

The UNLV women's basketball team finished the regular season with its first-ever top-two finish in the Mountain West, and will be the second seed in next week's Conoco MW Women's Basketball Championship, which will be held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas from March 7-10.

The Lady Rebels (22-8, 10-4) will face No. 7 seed New Mexico (9-19, 3-11 MW) in the quarterfinal round of the tournament on Wednesday, March 7 at 6:05 pm. The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to the semifinal round on Friday, March 9, and a matchup against the winner of the No. 3 Colorado State-No. 6 Boise State contest. The four quarterfinals games on Wednesday and the two semifinal contests on Friday will be broadcast by The Mtn., while the championship game on Saturday, March 10 will be on NBC Sports Network. All seven games of the MW Women's Basketball Championships are being broadcast in high definition.

This will be the fifth meeting all-time in MW Tournament play between UNLV and the Lobos, with the teams splitting the first four games. New Mexico was the higher seed in all four previous meetings, including in the last game between the two, an 80-52 win by the third-seed Lobos over the sixth seed Lady Rebs in the 2007 tournament. UNLV pulled off quarterfinal round upsets of the Lobos in the 2000 tournament as a fifth seed 52-50, and a 57-45 win as the sixth seed in the 2006 tournament. New Mexico's other win came in 2005, a 70-67 semifinal victory.
 
The Lady Rebels are 6-6 in their first game of the tournament, which for the first eight years of the conference was their quarterfinal contest, before three years of a double-bye system, and is 6-3 in the quarterfinals as well. UNLV is 2-2 all-time as the higher seed in the MW Tournament. This is the Lady Rebels' first time as a No. 2 seed, and also the first time they will wear white in their quarterfinal contest since the 2004 tournament. Wednesday's game marks UNLV's first-ever game against the seventh seed in the MW Tournament.   
 
Fourth-year head coach Kathy Olivier is 2-3 all-time with UNLV in the MW Tournament, while the Lady Rebels have an 8-12 (.400) tournament record, which ranks fifth among league members. UNLV has advanced to the championship game once (2002), and has six semifinal appearances in the 11-year history of the league.
 
The quarterfinals will take place on Wednesday, March 7 (12:05, 2:35, 6:05 and 8:35 pm), the semifinals on Friday, March 18 (12:05 and 2:35 pm) with the championship slated for Saturday, March 10 at 1:05 pm. The winner of the tournament will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
 
All-session and single-session tickets for the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Women's Basketball Championship are now on sale at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, online at UNLVTickets.com or by calling 702-739-FANS.
 
2012 CONOCO MOUNTAIN WEST WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Wednesday, March 7 (Quarterfinals)
12:05 pm, #1 San Diego State vs. #8 Air Force, The Mtn. HD
2:35 pm, #4 TCU vs. #5 Wyoming, The Mtn. HD
6:05 pm, #2 UNLV vs. #7 New Mexico, The Mtn. HD
8:35 pm, #3 Colorado State vs. #6 Boise State, The Mtn. HD
 
Friday, March 9 (Semifinals)
12:05 pm, Quarterfinals #1 winner vs. #2 winner, The Mtn. HD
2:35 pm, Quarterfinals #3 winner vs. #4 winner, The Mtn. HD
 
Saturday, March 10 (Championship)
1:05 pm, NBC Sports Network HD