LAS VEGAS — Haley Cavinder showed the University of Nevada why she is the Mountain West women’s basketball Freshman of the Year.

The Fresno State guard scored 26 points, grabbed six rebounds and had four assists to key the top-seeded Bulldogs’ 75-71 victory over the eighth-seeded Wolf Pack on Monday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Normally reliant on their 3-point shooting, the Bulldogs (24-6) gave Nevada (15-16) fits as their guards continually drove into the paint for easy shots in the Mountain West tournament opener.

But it was Cavinder’s 3-pointer with 1 minute, 24 seconds remaining that ripped Nevada’s heart out and gave the Bulldogs a 68-62 lead.

Next Up: San Jose State

Fresno State now faces fourth-seeded San Jose State, a 67-48 winner over UNLV, today in a 6 p.m. semifinal matchup.

It will be the third meeting between the teams this season with Fresno State winning the first two in tightly contested games.

Balanced Attack for Bulldogs

Hanna Cavinder and Aly Gamez sparkled as well. Hanna Cavinder scored 16 points, with four assists. Gamez converted 3 of 4 free throws in the final 11 seconds and finished with 15 points.

Fresno State forward Maddi Utti had 12 points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots.

The boxscore is at this link.

Utti Is Player of the Year, White Takes Top Coaching Honor

On Sunday, the Bulldogs dominated the Mountain West regular-season awards selections.

Averaging a double-double (15.4 points, 10. rebounds), Utti became the program’s second player to win MW Player of the Year, and first to win it outright. She also earned a spot on the All-MW team and was selected to the All-Defensive team for a second consecutive season.

Haley Cavinder also made the All-MW team, as did her twin sister, Hanna.

Bulldogs coach Jaime White was honored as MW Coach of the Year.

All-Mountain West Team

All-Mountain West
Maddi Utti, Fresno State
Ayzhiana Basallo, San Jose State
Rodjanae Wade, UNLV
Riley Lupfer, Boise State
Tereza Vitulova, Wyoming
Haley Cavinder, Fresno State
Jayde Christopher, Boise State
Sophia Ramos, San Diego State
Kaelin Immel, Air Force
Hanna Cavinder, Fresno State

All-Defensive Team
Jayde Christopher, Boise State
Maddi Utti, Fresno State
LaTecia Smith, UNLV
Andrea Brady, Colorado State
Bailey Thomas, UNLV

All-Freshman Team
Hanna Cavinder, Fresno State
Haley Cavinder, Fresno State
Jaeden Vifanua, Wyoming
Dom Phillips, Nevada
Isis Beh, UNLV

Player of the Year: Maddi Utti, Fresno State

Defensive Player of the Year: Bailey Thomas, UNLV

Newcomer of the Year: Ayzhiana Basallo, SJSU

Freshman of the Year: Haley Cavinder, Fresno State

Sixth Person of the Year: Marlene Aniambossou, Utah State

Coach of the Year: Jaime White, Fresno State

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