Briody leads New Mexico to Mountain West title game

LAS VEGAS -- Julie Briody scored 21 points and had eight rebounds to lead New Mexico over Wyoming 65-53 in the Mountain West Conference semifinals Friday afternoon.

Briody, who also had three steals, went 7-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line for the Lobos, who play BYU in the championship game Saturday afternoon. BYU beat Utah 55-49 to gain the final.

Dionne Marsh added 13 points and Brandi Kimble had 11 for third-seeded New Mexico (23-8).

Hanna Zavecz led No. 2 Wyoming (21-9) with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. Megan McGuffey added 21 points on 8-of-12 from the field, including hitting all three attempts from 3-point range.

After trailing 29-28 at halftime, the Cowgirls took two brief one-point leads, the last at 32-31 with 18:49 left in the game. But 15 seconds later, Zavecz committed her fourth foul and that ignited a 16-4 New Mexico run.

The Lobos never trailed again as the Cowgirls cut the lead to six on two occasions, the last at 53-47 with 6:30 left.

Wyoming built its largest lead at 64-50 on an Amy Beggin 4-point play with 3:28.

The Lobos jumped to an 8-0 lead and later built their largest lead of the first half at 21-9 with 7:38 until intermission. But the Cowgirls ended the first half on a 19-8 run, sparked by Zavecz, who had 13 first-half points.