Men’s and women’s basketball head to Las Vegas for MWC Championships

After a season filled with ups and downs, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will head to Las Vegas for the start of postseason play at the Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball Championships.

The women’s team finished its season with an unblemished home-court record and a final overall record of 22-7, 12-4 in conference.

Despite winning the MWC title, the Lady Frogs fell short in their final regular season game with a loss to the Brigham Young University Cougars, 70-65.

They enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed and are scheduled to face a team not yet determined in their first game on Friday in the semifinal round.

The team has racked up accolades and publicity this season, moving in and out of the Associated Press Top-25. In conference, each of the Lady Frogs’ five starters were granted All-MWC honors.

Junior forward/guard Helena Sverrisdottir and junior guard Emily Carter were named First-Team All-MWC. Sverrisdottir was also recognized as the conference’s Player of the Year. Averaging 13.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists, she is the third Horned Frog to receive the honor.

Senior guard TK LaFleur was named the Third-Team All-MWC. Senior guard Eboni Mangum and freshman forward Starr Crawford were named Honorable-Mention All-MWC.

Head coach Jeff Mittie received recognition as the MWC Coach of the Year. This is Mittie’s fourth Coach of the Year honor in his career, and his first in the MWC.

The men’s team also had some conference recognition with sophomore guard Ronnie Moss and senior forward Zvonko Buljan’s receiving MWC honors. Moss was named Second-Team All-MWC while Buljan was named Honorable-Mention All-MWC.

The men’s team faced a brutal loss to the BYU Cougars at the DMC on Saturday, 107-77. The team started off with a strong 15-2 advantage, but quickly lost the lead and the momentum.

Head coach Jim Christian said there were some bright spots during the game, but he attributed the loss to mistakes and turnovers.

“We were very careless with the basketball,” he said. “When you are playing a No. 14 team in the country you can’t turn the ball over like that.”

The Frogs finished the regular season 13-18, 5-11 in conference, and enter the tournament as the No. 7 seed. They are scheduled to face the BYU Cougars in their first contest Thursday.

Christian said the team does not have time to reinvent itself, but needs to head into the postseason, and its upcoming game, with the right mentality in order to win.

Freshman forward Garlon Green said he was not concerned about the game.

“Right now I feel hungry,” he said. “Hungry to play hard and send it right back at them.”

Christian echoed this sentiment and said he is hopeful, not concerned, about facing the Cougars at their first tournament showdown.

“I think if you’re a competitive person, which I hope our players are, then they would be a team you want to play because they really embarrassed us,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to regroup and give them our best effort.”

The Frogs had five players bringing in double-digits in their most recent game against the Cougars, and they are hoping to continue this strong offensive performance in the postseason.

“Anything can happen in March. You just have to have the belief, you have to put the effort in and you have to have passion,” Christian said. “For three days you could be the best team in the league if you choose to be that. Everything that has happened to this point goes out the window.”


MWC Men’s Championships

TCU vs. BYU

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Las Vegas


MWC Women’s Championships Semifinal

TCU vs. TBA

When: Noon Friday

Where: Las Vegas

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