Box Score |
March 12, 2005
New Mexico became the sixth team in six years to win the MWC Tournament championship. This marks the third overall conference tournament title for the Lobos. UNM is 2-0 now all-time vs. Utah in conference tournament title games. The No. 2 seed is now 2-0 in MWC Tournament championship games, while the No. 1 seed is 1-1.
New Mexico makes its 11th NCAA appearance and first since 1999. The Lobos are 6-11 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.
Utah will look to make its 26th NCAA appearance and 11th in the last 12 years. The Utes are 33-28 in 25 NCAA appearances, including a trip to the Final Four in 1998.
Utah is 19-2 the last 21 games vs. MWC opponents with New Mexico handing the Utes both defeats in that span.
Andrew Bogut entered tonight's game needing just three rebounds to tie his MWC Tournament record 32 rebounds set last year. Just three minutes into the game, Bogut had already picked up three boards to tie the record. He picked up his fourth board of the game at 13:26 of the first half to break the tournament rebound record. He had 45 rebounds in three games for the MWC Tournament record and also has a record 77 career rebounds in the MWC Tournament.
For the first time in MWC Tournament history, two players notched double-doubles in the title game. Andrew Bogut finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds, marking his nation-leading 23rd double-double of the year.
Granger recorded his 12th double-double of the year with 28 points and 11 rebounds vs. Utah in today's game. He totaled 15 points and nine boards in a win over the Utes at The Pit Feb. 21.
Bogut's nine offensive rebounds are an MWC Tournament record, breaking his mark of eight in last year's MWC Tournament title game.
New Mexico opened the game on a 9-2 run in the first five minutes for an 11-5 lead, but Utah responded with a 12-0 run to take a 17-11 advantage at the 8:33 mark of the first half.
UNM rattled off an 11-0 run, sparked by Danny Granger's three-point play at 8:10 of the first half to snap a Lobo scoring drought of 7:13. Alfred Neale added a three-pointer to knot the game for the first time at 17-17 with 7:40 remaining in the half. Granger hit another three-pointer and a nine-foot jumper to complete the run as the Lobos regained the lead 22-17.
Granger scored 18 of the first 30 Lobo points in the game, including five straight points to close out the half and give the Lobos a 30-24 advantage at the break.
Utah's 24 points at halftime today is its lowest first-half total vs. MWC opponents this year.
Granger scored just two points in the first 18-plus minutes of the second half before hitting a layup with 1:42 to play. He scored another six points in the last 37 seconds of the game, giving him a game- and season-high 28 points and the new MWC Tournament record 73 points (three games).
Granger also tied the MWC Tournament record for made free throws with 21 (Lou Kelly, UNLV, 2002).
Granger was the only Lobo in double figures, marking only the second game this year one UNM player scored double figures. The Lobos lost the other game, 53-68, at BYU - Granger did not play in that game due to injury.
In five of the last six MWC Tournament title games, the team leading at halftime has gone on to win the championship, including New Mexico's win today. Utah is the only team in MWC history to win the conference tournament championship game after trailing at the break. UNLV led Utah 41-33 at halftime in last year's title game, but the Utes outscored the Rebels 40-29 in the second stanza to steal the win (73-70).
New Mexico improved to 26-1 when leading at the half this season, including all three MWC Tournament wins.
Tim Drisdom hit a three-pointer to cap a 7-0 Utah run and give the Utes a 49-48 lead with 3:35 to play, marking their only lead in the game since the 7:40 mark of the first half. New Mexico responded with baskets from Alfred Neale and David Chiotti for a 52-49 lead with 2:32 to play and the Lobos never trailed again.
Utah head coach Ray Giacoletti is now 7-4 overall in conference tournament games. New Mexico head coach Ritchie McKay is 3-5 all-time in conference tournament games, with all three wins coming this year.
2005 MWC Tournament Attendance
Session 1: 7,603
Session 2: 8,249
Session 3: 9,415
Total: 35,895 (8,973 per session)
2005 MWC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
MVP-Danny Granger, Sr., New Mexico
Alfred Neale, Sr., New Mexico
Andrew Bogut, So., Utah
Bryant Markson, Jr., Utah
Marcus Slaughter, So., San Diego State