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March 11, 2006
Wyoming senior center Justin Williams broke the Mountain West Conference Tournament single game record for blocked shots with seven in the first half. He breaks the previous record of six, held by Michael Harrison of Colorado State from the quarterfinal game against San Diego State yesterday. Williams ended the game with 12.
Williams also broke the tournament blocks record with 17, breaking the old record of nine held by Danny Granger of New Mexico from last season. Williams breaks the career tournament record with 18, breaking the previous record of 12 by Josh Davis of Wyoming (2000-02).
Williams recorded the first triple double in Mountain West Tournament history and the first in the conference since Mark Dickel, UNLV vs. Mississippi Valley State (17p-10r-12a) on Nov. 19, 1999. With the feat, he recorded the second triple-double in both Wyoming and Mountain West history (10 points, 15 rebounds, 12 blocks).
Utah freshman center Luke Nevill has scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games and has 46 points in this tournament, leading the team tonight with 17.
Five of seven tournament games have been decided by four points or less. The 13-point margin of victory this evening is the largest of the tournament thus far.
Wyoming sophomore guard Brad Jones tied his career-high with 20 points and it is the second time in four games he has scored 20. Freshman guard Brandon Ewing, in three games against the Utes this season has combined to score 68 points.
This is the first time the seven-seed has advanced to the championship game. The six-seed has advanced twice (2000 & 2003) previously, and was the lowest seed to play for the title. In 2003, Colorado State won the title seeded sixth.
Wyoming is advancing to its first finals of any conference tournament since 1988 when the Cowboys defeated UTEP in the WAC, 79-75.
The Aztecs and Cowboys will meet for the third time in Mountain West Tournament history, with each team winning once. The last time the two teams met was March 8, 2002 when No. 5 San Diego State upset top-seeded Wyoming 70-69 in the semifinals. The Aztecs went on to win the championship over UNLV.
The .269 field goal percentage for the Utes is a new tournament single-game low. The previous low was .275 by New Mexico against BYU in 2000.