Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

More Than a Game.(Sports)

Byline: Mark Smith Journal Staff Writer

WNIT finale was an event, a happening forthe fans and their Lobos

This wasn't just a basketball game. Heck, it was far from just another Women's National Invitation Tournament championship game.

No, it was an event when the University of New Mexico played host to Ohio State on Wednesday night.

It was a circus, a political convention, a bullfight and a party all rolled into one festive women's college hoop contest.

It was, quite simply, a happening.

It also was devastating for the Lobos and their incredible following.

The script didn't call for the shocking ending that resulted in Ohio State players doing belly-flops on the center of Bob King Court after a 62-61 victory. But it didn't erase the electric atmosphere. The kind that more than 30 years ago made the Pit legendary.

"Our crowd is an awesome sixth man," said UNM sophomore Chelsea Grear. "They were great. It had me definitely nervous coming into the game and second half. I had to take a big breath and get it out to relax."

The tailgating started about four hours before tip-off, and the fans knew then what to expect.

"It's going to be a phenomenal night," said Leish Weger as she dumped a pile of trash in a nearby garbage can outside of the Pit. "We've been having these cookouts for 3 1/2 years, and this one is even more special. …

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