BYU Takes WCC Tournament Title With Big Second Quarter
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The BYU women’s basketball team beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs for the third time this season, this time for the West Coast Conference Championship with an 82-68 victory.
It took a big second quarter for the Cougars to gain a big lead and keep it. They trailed 23-19 in the first quarter before outscoring the Bulldogs 23-7 in the second quarter to lead 42-30.
BYU made 52 percent of their three-pointers on 13-of-25 shooting. They hit four triples in each of the first three quarters.
Brenna Chase led the Cougars with 25 points on 7-of 12 shooting from downtown. Shaylee Gonzales chipped in 20 points, while Paisley Johnson contributed 19 points and made 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Streak Scoring For Cougars
BYU needed four three pointers in the opening period to stay in the game, including three in a row that put them up 14-10, but Gonzaga had a 23-19 lead.
In the second quarter, the Cougars hit back-to-back threes twice to spark their 23-7 advantage in the period. The first set of threes came in early in the second quarter to take a two point lead. The other two happened late in the half to put their lead to 10 points, which ultimately became a 42-30 halftime lead.
BYU put the nail in the coffin in the third quarter with four more made threes, but that was critical makes because Gonzaga outscored the Cougars in the third quarter 26-23, BYU was up 65-56 entering the fourth quarter.
The Cougars made just one three-pointer in the fourth quarter as they shot and made multiple free-throws to win the game. As a team, they shot 17-of-22 from the charity stripe.
BYU improved to 25-6 overall and 15-3 in conference play and won their second West Coast Conference Tournament title since joining the conference in 2011-12. They will find out who they will face on Monday, when the NCAA Selection Committee releases the brackets at 5 p.m. on ESPN.
They will make their 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. BYU will play in their fifth tournament since joining the WCC. Their last appearance was in the 2015-16 season, when they won the conference tournament.