Aggie women's basketball take on Lobos in first round of Mountain West Tournament
Published: March 8, 2014 04:05PM
Updated: March 12, 2014 07:19PM
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Wyoming's Chelan Landry guards Utah State's Elise Nelson on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. The Wyoming Cowgirls lost 84-80 to Utah State in their final home game of the season. (AP Photo/Star-Tribune, Alan Rogers)

Things are looking up for Utah State women's basketball.

After a sluggish start to conference play - not unlike the Aggie men - the Aggie women will get an opportunity to kick off the league tournament against a team it has beaten twice.

No. 8-seeded Utah State will take on No. 9 New Mexico on Monday, March 10 at 3 p.m. MT for the first game of the Mountain West Tournament at Thomas and Mack Center. The winner of the game will take on No. 1 seeded Colorado State.

Utah State topped the Lobos twice during the regular season, beating them 75-69 in Albuquerque, N.M., then squeeeeeeeezed by them in Logan on two free throws by Jennifer Schlott. So the Aggies aren't necessarily preparing for a walk through the park.

However, Utah State will try to overwhelm New Mexico again with its high-scoring style. The Aggies boast the highest-scoring offense in the Mountain West, at 77.9 points per game. The Aggies also have the No. 4 scorer (26.3 ppg) in the country in Jen Schlott, who also happens to dish out six assists per game. The Aggies also are within the top 35 in free throw shooting and steals.

Since the return of a healthy Makenlee Williams, the team has surged in the win column and in confidence. Just on Tuesday, the Aggies were the first and only Mountain West team to beat Wyoming on its home court this year.

"We're really in a good place right now emotionally, mentally and physically," coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. "I really think the way we finished, we're playing as good as anybody in the league."

For the entire tournament, the bracket is laid out as follows. All games are aired online on the Mountain West network unless explicitly mentioned, and all times have been changed to MT for you, dear viewer at home:

Monday, March 10
3 p.m. First Round: No. 8 Utah State vs. No. 9 New Mexico
5:30 p.m. First Round: No. 7 UNLV vs. No. 10 San José State
8 p.m. First Round: No. 6 San Diego State vs. No. 11 Air Force

Tuesday, March 11
1 p.m. Quarterfinal Game #1: No. 1 Colorado State vs. Winner of 8 vs. 9
3:30 p.m. Quarterfinal Game #2: No. 4 Boise State vs. No. 5 Wyoming
7 p.m. Quarterfinal Game #3: No. 2 Fresno State vs. Winner of 7 vs. 10
9:30 p.m. Quarterfinal Game #4: No. 3 Nevada vs. Winner of 6 vs. 11

Friday, March 15
1 p.m. Semifinal Game #1: Winner of QF #1 vs. Winner of QF #2
3:30 p.m. Semifinal Game #2: Winner of QF #3 vs. Winner of QF #4

Saturday, March 16
8 p.m. Championship Game (CBS Sports Network)

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— Kyle Goon
kgoon@sltrib.com
Twitter: @kylegoon