BYU Women’s Basketball Rolls Through USF, Advances To WCC Championship

Mar 8, 2021, 5:13 PM

BYU Women's Basketball - Paisley Harding...

BYU women's basketball guard Paisley Harding led the Cougars in scoring in WCC Tournament Semifinal win over USF. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – In a must-win setting to keep their NCAA hopes alive, BYU women’s basketball crushed the USF Dons in the WCC Tournament.

BYU women’s basketball defeated USF 85-55. An impressive margin of victory. Especially when you consider BYU opened the game down by a score of 19-12 late into the first quarter, from there, BYU reeled off an eye-popping 47-8 run to pull away from the same Dons team that defeated the Cougars last Saturday on the Hilltop.

A large reason for the success was a switch to a Box and one defense that the Cougars had not played all season in an effort to stop the WCC’s leading scorer Ioanna Krimili. Krimili had 11 points in the first quarter but only scored 10 more points after BYU’s switch on defense.

With the win, BYU will now face No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament Championship on Tuesday (2 p.m., ESPNU).

First Team All-WCC selection Paisley Harding has always performed well in the WCC Tournament during her BYU career. She probably put together her best performance on Monday. Harding scored 23 points, pulled down seven rebounds, dished out two assists, and had four steals in only 29 minutes of action.

“I thought that Paisley came out really aggressive offensively, which is really good for our team because when she scores, it’s hard to guard us,” said BYU coach Jeff Judkins.

WCC Co-Player of the Year Shaylee Gonzales didn’t have a great game from the offensive end scoring only 10 points on 40 percent shooting from the field. Lauren Gustin put together another double-double grabbing 10 boards and scoring 10 points.

“Great players don’t have to score to be good. They do more than just scoring. They take care of the ball, they create baskets for other people,” said Judkins.

A total of 15 players from BYU’s roster were able to log minutes in the semifinal win over USF. BYU shot 53 percent from the field to USF’s 26 percent and dished out 19 assists on the 31 field goal makes.

Entering Monday’s game, BYU was in the “First Four Out” of ESPN’s Bracketology for the Women’s NCAA Tournament. Now the Cougars game plan for the Zags, who they split the series with during the regular season.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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BYU Women’s Basketball Rolls Through USF, Advances To WCC Championship