(Photo by Mark A Philbrick/BYU Photo)
LAS VEGAS - After a 77-64 victory over Pacific, No. 2 seed BYU women’s basketball (26-5), will play in the title game of the 2014 WCC Basketball Championships. BYU will battle No. 1 seed Gonzaga (28-4), Tuesday, March 11 at 1 p.m. PST.
Links to watch, follow and listen to the game
The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and on BYU Radio. Gonzaga, who won the regular season race with a 16-2 mark, advanced to the title game with a 68-60 win over St. Mary’s.
Heading into the title game, the Cougars are on a 10-game winning streak, the longest of the season. This will be the second time since joining the WCC in 2011-12 that the Cougars have advanced to the championship game.
WCC Player and Defensive Player of the Year, Jennifer Hamson, tops the list in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots for BYU. She averages 18.1 ppg, 11.3 rpg and 4.1 bpg. Hamson leads the nation in blocked shots, ranks 13th in rebounds per game, 14th in double-doubles, and 18th in field goal percentage.
Three other Cougars are averaging double figures in points, with Lexi Eaton chipping in 17.0 followed by 11.6 points from Kim Beeston. Junior forward Morgan Bailey rounds out the scoring output, contributing 10.6 points. She is second on the team in rebounding, pulling down 7.0 per contest.
BYU is averaging 72.9 points per game, while holding opponents to 63.6 points. The Cougars, who rank sixth in the country in blocked shots per game, have recorded more blocks than opponents in 27 games and have dished out more assists in 25 of the 31 games played. The team has also recorded more rebounds than opponents in 23 contests.
Gonzaga (28-4) won the WCC regular season crown and was the No. 1 seed in this week’s league championships.
The Bulldogs have three players scoring in double digits with 15.5 points coming from Haiden Palmer. Teammate Sunny Greinacher follows with 11.5 points with Lindsay Sherbert contributing 10.8 points per game. Palmer leads the way in the rebound category, grabbing 5.6 boards per game. Jazmine Redmon tops the list in assists dishing out 3.6 assists a game. Gonzaga averages 75.6 points and 42.3 rebounds per game while holding opponents to 56.0 points per contest.
Gonzaga leads the series 8-6. The Cougars and Bulldogs split the regular season meetings with each squad winning on its home court. When playing at a neutral venue, the series is tied up at 1-1.
Game Summaries in 2014 campaign
In the first matchup between the two schools, Gonzaga held BYU to a season low in points en route to a 68-42 Bulldog victory in Spokane on Jan. 9. Lexi Eaton was the only Cougar to score double-figure points, collecting 18 in her outing. Jennifer Hamson played just 13 minutes before fouling out of the game. Three Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Sunny Greinacher’s 20 points and seven boards.
The Provo game saw three Cougars score in double figures as Jennifer Hamson (20), Lexi Eaton (15) and Morgan Bailey (14) led BYU to a 62-52 upset of No. 15 Gonzaga, on Feb. 15. The Cougars went 25 for 31 from the charity stripe and held the Bulldogs to just 25 percent shooting from the floor. Jazmine Redmon led Gonzaga with a team-high 15 points, the only Bulldog player to score in double figures.
The winner of the WCC championship game receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships. The seeding for the tournament will be announced Monday, March 17.