Cougars set for WCC semifinal vs. Gonzaga

(Photo by Bella Torgenson/BYU Photo)
After a 69-57 win over LMU in the quarterfinals of the 2013 WCC Women’s Basketball Championships, the Cougar women advanced to one of two semifinal games. No. 4 seed BYU will play No. 1 seed Gonzaga, Saturday at noon PST at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The game will be live on BYUtv and on BYU Radio.

BYU Capsule

The Cougar team has outrebounded its opponents in 20 of the 30 games played. The BYU bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 526-402. When comparing points in the paint, the Cougars have scored 760 points to 620 from opponents.
 
BYU has had a halftime lead in all but seven games to date (vs. Gonzaga, vs. SD, vs. SMC, at USF, at Gonzaga, vs. Seattle and at Washington State). 
In only five contests (vs. Gonzaga, at USF, at Gonzaga, at Boston College and at Washington State) the Cougars did not record more assists than their opponents. 
 
Balanced scoring has added to the team’s success this year. To date, three players have put up double figures in points in 13 games and four players finished with double-digit scoring in five games (at POR, at PEP, vs. PEP, vs. Tulsa, vs. UCSB)
 
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) is in his 12th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 10.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Hamson, 8.3 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #33 Steed, 7.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #33 Steed, 2.1 spg

Gonzaga Capsule

 
Gonzaga clinched the WCC regular season title with a 14-1 mark and enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Bulldogs' lone conference loss was at Saint Mary’s.
 
• Head coach: Kelly Graves is in his 12th season at Gonzaga
• Team’s leading scorer: #3 Haiden Palmer, 12.4 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #44 Shelby Cheslek, 5.5 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #34 Jazmine Redmon, 3.8 apg 
• Team’s steals leader: #3 Palmer, 3.0 spg

Series History 

Gonzaga leads the series 6-5.
 
When playing on a neutral site BYU has a 1-0 edge. 

Last Meeting

Gonzaga swept the series over BYU this season, capturing a 74-59 victory in Spokane, Wash., on Jan. 17 and a 66-55 win in Provo, Utah, on Feb. 23.  In the contest at McCarthey Athletic Center, Morgan Bailey recorded a career-high 18 points while Ashley Garfield pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. Haley Steed was the other BYU player to score in double digits with 18. She finished the game with a team-high five assists. The Cougars shot 41 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free-throw line, while the Bulldogs shot 53 percent from the field and 62 percent from the charity stripe. 
 
At the Marriott Center, junior center Jennifer Hamson had a game-best 20 points and pulled down a game-high eight boards. Steed also finished with double figures in points with 14 along with game highs in assists with nine. Hamson also recorded game highs in blocks with four. BYU finished the game shooting 41 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
 
The loss to the Bulldogs snapped the Cougars' nine-game win streak and ended the team’s unbeaten home streak. On the year, BYU finished 13-1 in the Marriott Center. In both contests Gonzaga outrebounded the Cougars 31-28 in Spokane and 36-34 in Provo.

Up Next

A win over Gonzaga would send the Cougar women to the championship game for the second straight season. That game is on Monday, March 11 at noon PST. 
BYU would play the winner of Saturday's second semifinal game between San Diego and Saint Mary's.
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