BYU COUGARS

BYU Women Fall To No. 16 Gonzaga In WCC Semifinal

Mar 6, 2023, 3:04 PM | Updated: Mar 7, 2023, 9:49 am

The run in March for BYU women’s basketball has come to a close. BYU lost to No. 16 Gonzaga in the semifinals of the 2023 WCC Tournament on Monday.

The final score was Gonzaga 79, BYU 64.

Unless a bid to the WNIT comes BYU’s way, the season is over for the Cougars. They finish the season with a 16-16 record.

BYU held tough with the top-seed Zags through the first half. At the halftime break, BYU only trailed by six. But a disastrous third quarter allowed Gonzaga to pull away from BYU.

In the third quarter, Gonzaga outscored BYU 27-10, led by Zags forward Yvonne Ejim. Ejim scored more points than BYU’s entire team, with 12 points. Ejim finished with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds.

BYU played much better in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Zags 29-21 in the final period, but it was too late.

BYU struggled on the offensive end against Gonzaga. Some of the issues were due to the Zags’ defense, but other aspects were due to BYU not capitalizing on open shots. BYU’s stars highlighted the struggles on offense.

All-WCC First Team selection Nani Falatea didn’t hit a field goal until the three-minute mark in the fourth quarter of action. In addition, WCC Co-Defensive Player of the Year Lauren Gustin, typically a guaranteed double-double, was limited to only nine points and nine rebounds in the loss.

BYU shot 36% from the field to Gonzaga’s 51%. Zags guard Brynna Maxwell caught fire in the second half finishing with 18 points and four rebounds.

Gonzaga moves on to the WCC Tournament Championship Game and will face the Portland/Pacific semifinal winner on Tuesday at 2 p.m. (MT) on ESPNU.

The loss ends BYU’s time in WCC Women’s Basketball. Throughout BYU’s time in the league, the Cougars had eight 20-win seasons and won three conference championships. BYU will join the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023.

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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Women Fall To No. 16 Gonzaga In WCC Semifinal