2006 Season Review

The team compiled the best record in school history with a 26-6 record that included tallying an impressive 13-1 record on the road. During the season, the Cougars also went on an 11-game winning streak before losing to Utah on Feb. 8 at BYU.

For the first time since the 2002-03 season, the team was recognized for its outstanding season breaking into the national polls after going 15-1 to begin the season. Its first appearance came the week of Jan. 16 when both the AP Poll and the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll ranked the team at the No. 23 spot. The team moved as high as No. 16 in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll, the highest of the year and the highest ever in the program's history. BYU finished the season ranked 20th in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll.

Despite being voted to finish 6th in the MWC regular season, the Cougars proved they were a talented offensive and defensive force. The squad compiled a 13-3 record in league play and clinched their first MWC regular season title since the 1992-93 season. BYU went into the second half of conference play with a perfect 9-0 record. It went on to lose three of its last seven games to finish conference play. The Cougars clinched the regular season crown at CSU on March 2 with a 69-67 win over the Rams. The victory was also coach Jeff Judkins' 100th career win. He went on to garner his first ever MWC Coach of the Year honor, while senior forward Ambrosia Anderson picked up Co-MWC Player of the Year accolades.

After clinching the regular MWC title, the team performed well in the championships, advancing to the title game for the fifth time. BYU lost to Utah, 60-84, after defeating CSU, 65-45, and, TCU 63-53.

In conference games, BYU ranked fourth in scoring offense with 63.2 points per game and second in scoring defense, holding league foes to 55.3 points per game. The team also ranked first in several categories including field goal percentage defense at .345, rebounding offense at 39.9 boards a game, rebounding margin with an average of 5.2 more rebounds than its opponents and first in defensive rebounds with 27.31 per contest.

Along with Player and Coach of the Year honors for Anderson and coach Judkins several other players were recognized with postseason honors by the MWC. Anderson was also named First Team All-Mountain West Conference while teammate Dani Kubik received second-team honors. Mallary Gillespie, Melinda Johnsen and Jennie Keele received Honorable Mention All-MWC honors.

Anderson concluded her collegiate career averaging 16.7 points per game in league play, second-best in the conference. She also ranked 10th in rebounding with an average of 6.3 rebounds per contest, seventh in defensive rebounds grabbing 4.44 per game, and 12th in three-point field goal percentage, hitting .348 (32-92) of her shots.

For the second time in the last three years a Cougar senior was drafted into the WNBA. BYU's two-time All-American Ambrosia Anderson was drafted by the Detroit Shock and then traded to the Minnesota Lynx in the 2006 WNBA draft. She now plays for the Connecticut Sun. Anderson was selected 17th overall in the second round.

Anderson also garnered two postseason honorable mention All-America accolades from the AP Women's All-America Basketball Team as well as the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Eastman Kodak Company.

Once the MWC Championships concluded, the team received a postseason invitation to the 2006 Women's NCAA Championships. The invite came with a no. seven seed, the highest ever for BYU, in the San Antonio Regional that was hosted by the University of Colorado at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The invitation marked the Cougars 7th appearance in the NCAA tournament. The team advanced to the second round with a first-round, 67-62, win over Iowa. In the second round, the squad met no. 7 Oklahoma, the highest ranked team the Cougars have played in school history. By the end of the contest, BYU found themselves down despite an outstanding team effort, eventually losing, 70-86.

Other impressive season accomplishments for the BYU team included a 22-1 record when leading at the half and a 23-4 record when they made at least five three-pointers in a game. The Cougars also had 15 games where two players scored in double figures, 10 where three members finished in double-digit scoring and 22 games where they outrebounded their opponents.

Junior center Dani Kubik was the team's second leading scorer and rebounder with 10.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Mallary Gillespie was third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.3 points per contest while junior guard/forward Melinda Johnsen led the team in assists with a total of 106 on the year. Third on the team in rebounds was sophomore forward/center Lauren Riley. She grabbed 5.4 rebounds a game and had a total of 18 blocks, two less than team leader Kubik with 20.

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