Cougars End Season in Loss to 'Zags

SPOKANE -- In the first round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament Wednesday evening, BYU fought hard but was overpowered in the end by Gonzaga, losing 57-71 in front of a rowdy crowd at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Playing against a Bulldog team that was seemingly out to prove something after being overlooked by the NCAA tournament, Gonzaga seemed to quall each and every threat the Cougars presented.

"It wasn't the way we wanted our season to end, but what else can you say?" said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. "Gonzaga is a very good team. They are a very good team and they played well together. They certainly had a lot of weapons."

In a first half that saw the scored tied five different times and five lead changes, Gonzaga went on a 11-2 run over 4:17, extending the lead to 27-18. With just five seconds remaining in the half and trailing 23-33, senior Julie Sullivan raced up the length of the court and found freshman Mallary Gillespie open beyond the arc in the corner. Gillespie nailed the three-point shot as the buzzer expired, to cut the Bulldog deficit to seven and ended the half on a positive note for BYU.

Sullivan had a team-high 8 points at the half while BYU shot just 39 percent to the Bulldogs 46 percent. Gillespie hit the only three-point basket in eight attempts for the Cougars.

BYU kept the momentum gained by Gillespie's last-second shot, and came out roaring in the second half as they cut an early 11-point second-half deficit to five following two free throws by sophomore Melinda Johnson, with 16:27 left in the game.

Gonzaga responded with a 15-6 run over the next seven minutes, capped by an Ashley Burke layup and foul shot, extending the Bulldog lead to 14 points with 9:30 remaining, 55-41. With 7:21 left, sophomore Tiari Goold scored her first points of the game with a three-pointer to bring the score to 48-57. But Gonzaga responded again with an 10-2 run, pushing the lead up to 69-50 with 2:02 remaining.

"We get into a point when we hit and miss and then we don't have confidence to come back when we get behind," added Judkins. "It's been an obstacle for us all year when we don't play smart after getting into foul trouble. We don't play our game and that's what makes the difference."

Playing in her first game back after recovering from a broken foot suffered during the season, junior Nancy Seljaas hit a three with 1:52 left, but the Cougars could not climb any closer. Senior Kali Taylor scored the last bucket of the game and also the last two points in her collegiate career, with a layup, and the BYU women's basketball season ended, losing 71-57.

Gonzaga guard Shannon Matthews led all scorers with 24 points, making 9 out of 12 shots. Sullivan led the Cougars with 14 points on four of seven shooting, adding two assists and two steals. BYU shot 43 percent for the game. Sophomore Melinda Johnson had a team-high five rebounds and five assists, to go along with six points.

BYU finished the season strong, winning eight of the last ten games, thanks to solid team play and aggressive defense. After dropping the MWC Tournament game to Utah and following tonight's loss to Gonzaga, the Cougars finished the season 19-11. Judkins has now won 15 games or more in his first four seasons as BYU head coach.

Playing in their final game for the Cougars were seniors Danielle Cheesman, Kristen Kozlowski, Julie Sullivan and Kali Taylor.

Gonzaga (28-3) will face the winner of the Southern Methodist University/Southwest Missouri State University game on either Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Game location and date will be determined after both games are completed with the SMU/SMS game being played on Thursday night.

Official Basketball Box Score

BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS vs GONZAGA BULLDOGS

03-16-05 7 p.m. at McCARTHEY ATHLETIC CENTER

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VISITORS: BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS 19-11

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

32 KOZLOWSKI, Kristen.. f 1-7 0-3 2-3 0 0 0 1 4 1 2 0 0 24

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... f 2-2 0-0 2-2 1 5 6 1 6 5 2 1 0 24

51 CHEESMAN, Danielle.. f 4-9 0-1 1-2 0 3 3 3 9 3 2 0 2 36

14 SULLIVAN, Julie..... g 6-12 0-1 2-2 0 1 1 3 14 2 1 0 2 32

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 4-7 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 1 10 2 2 0 1 21

01 SELJAAS, Nancy...... 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 3

13 GOOLD, Tiari........ 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 3 1 4 0 0 16

25 TAYLOR, Kali........ 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 9

33 ANDERSON, Ambrosia.. 2-10 0-6 0-0 0 4 4 0 4 0 4 0 1 15

45 KUBIK, Dani......... 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 0 1 0 0 9

50 ABELL, Mary Martha.. 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 4

52 RILEY, Lauren....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7

TEAM................ 4 1 5

Totals.............. 23-54 4-18 7-9 8 22 30 14 57 15 20 1 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-28 39.3% 2nd Half: 12-26 46.2% Game: 42.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-8 12.5% 2nd Half: 3-10 30.0% Game: 22.2% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-5 60.0% 2nd Half: 4-4 100 % Game: 77.8% 2,1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOME TEAM: GONZAGA BULLDOGS 28-3

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

13 BURKE, Ashley....... f 6-13 0-0 3-5 0 2 2 1 15 5 4 1 1 36

32 JEWELL, Raeanna..... f 1-5 1-1 0-0 2 3 5 1 3 3 0 0 1 24

42 HAWK, Stephanie..... f 3-7 0-0 4-4 0 2 2 2 10 0 0 0 0 23

10 MATHEWS, Shannon.... g 9-12 4-6 2-2 1 4 5 1 24 6 6 0 2 37

11 LANEY, Juliann...... g 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 1 0 3 2 0 0 15

01 HARRIS, Dominique... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

03 KANE, Rachel........ 1-2 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 6

21 RIDENOUR, Katy...... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 0 0 0 1 19

44 BAILEY, Anne........ 5-11 0-1 0-1 1 3 4 0 10 2 3 1 1 25

54 LECOULTRE, Delphine. 2-4 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 1 4 1 0 1 0 10

TEAM................ 3 1 4

Totals.............. 28-57 6-11 9-14 7 23 30 9 71 20 15 3 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-26 46.2% 2nd Half: 16-31 51.6% Game: 49.1% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-7 42.9% 2nd Half: 3-4 75.0% Game: 54.5% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-7 85.7% 2nd Half: 3-7 42.9% Game: 64.3% 4

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Officials: Connie Perkins, Shawn Cather, Penny Davis

Technical fouls: BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS-SULLIVAN, Julie. GONZAGA

BULLDOGS-None.

Attendance: 3603

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS......... 26 31 - 57

GONZAGA BULLDOGS.............. 33 38 - 71

ID-333069

Women's NIT 1st round.

Tags: Results