LAS VEGAS – The Cowgirls will face Cinderella in the quarterfinal round of the Mountain West Tournament.
Wyoming, which earned the No. 2 seed, will play No. 10 San Jose State on Monday night here at the Thomas & Mack Center (6 p.m., MW Network).
The Spartans (6-24) stunned No. 7 Air Force 62-51 in the opening round. SJSU became the first No. 10 seed to advance since the conference's current tournament format was adopted in 2014.
“All season we've just talked about the process and the journey and not worrying about so much what the score looks like, but what our progress is,” first-year SJSU head coach April Phillips said. “I'm just really proud of our ladies for sticking through the type of season that we've had. It's not an easy season to continue to fight and show up and work every single day, and I couldn't be more proud of just their effort and their intentionality in building this culture and continuing to stick with the process.”
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Jada Holland scored a career-high 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including a deep 3-pointer off the glass as the shot clock was expiring to ice the game in the fourth quarter, to lead the Spartans.
The Cowgirls (20-9) swept the regular season series with a 68-54 win in San Jose, California, and a 68-54 win in Laramie.
Allyson Fertig and Grace Ellis took advantage of UW’s height advantage by scoring a combined 36 points on 16-for-23 shooting in the previous meeting.
SJSU has won three consecutive games and will be riding a lot of momentum into this matchup.
“We're playing our best basketball at the end of this season,” Holland said. “For us it was just stacking days. Coach (Phillips) told us five people on one string while we're out there and one heartbeat, so I think that's our mentality, and that's what we were trying to do. We were trying to move all as one, stick to the game plan, be aggressive as possible, and play for each other.”
The UW-SJSU winner will face the No. 3 Colorado State-No. 6 Boise State winner in the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.