BYU wins WCC Championship after defeating Gonzaga
LAS VEGAS – The BYU women’s basketball team are West Coast Conference Champions after topping the No. 1 seed Gonzaga 82-68 Tuesday afternoon in the Orleans Arena.
"First of all, I want to give Gonzaga a lot of credit, they have a great team," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "This was just one of those games that went our way a little bit. I'm so proud of my team because they played their hearts out, they weren't afraid to make the play, they weren't afraid for the challenge."
Paisley Johnson was named WCC Tournament MVP and Shaylee Gonzales made the All-Tournament Team.
Brenna Chase tallied 25 points, three steals, one assist and one rebound as she drained seven 3-pointers. Shaylee Gonzales added 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Paisley Johnson scored 19 and recorded five rebounds and four assists.
In the first quarter, the Cougars managed to score their first four baskets from beyond the arc, including three by Chase, to take a 14-10 lead with five minutes on the clock.
With 1:37 remaining in the first quarter, the Bulldogs scored five-straight points to take a 23-19 lead at the break.
The BYU defense held Gonzaga scoreless through the first six minutes of the second quarter as the Cougars went on a 16-0 run to take a 35-23 advantage.
The Bulldogs closed in on the deficit before five-consecutive points from Gonzales in the final minute of the quarter gave BYU the 42-30 lead at halftime. The Cougars shot 46.9 percent from the field while Gonzaga recorded 40.7.
In the third quarter, buckets by four different players kept the Cougars on top by double figures, 55-39, with 5:26 on the clock. The Bulldogs answered with seven points from the charity stripe to bring the deficit down to single digits, 55-46.
Chase’s sixth trey ended BYU’s scoring drought, but Gonzaga answered with a pair of 3-pointers to bring the score to 60-52 with 1:16 left in the third.
Following a timeout, Johnson drained a 3 from the top of the key. However, more points from the free throw line for the Bulldogs brought the game within seven. Gonzales was fouled with .2 seconds left on the clock and went 2 of 3 as the Cougars held a 65-56 lead after three quarters.
In the first nine minutes of the final quarter, Gonzaga only scored from the charity stripe as BYU went on to secure its win from the free throw line and another trey from Chase.
On the game, the Cougars shot 47.3 percent from the field, 52.0 percent from 3 and 77.3 percent from the free throw line. The Bulldogs recorded 34.7 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and 87.5 percent from the charity stripe.
Postgame Notes vs. Gonzaga at WCC Championship Game
With the 82-68 win over Gonzaga, the Cougars captured their third West Coast Conference title since joining the league in 2011.
The win over the Bulldogs improved BYU’s record to 25-6 on the year. The team extends its win streak to seven games.
BYU finished the game with three players in double figures for the 14th time on the year. Brenna Chase (25), Shaylee Gonzales (20), Paisley Johnson (19).
For the game, BYU shot 47.3 percent from the field, 52 percent from behind the arc and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line.
The teams finished the game tied in assists and in steals with 12 and five, respectively.
BYU had the advantage in blocks with five to Gonzaga’s four.
The Cougars ended the game with 33 rebounds while the Bulldogs pulled down 32.
Junior Brenna Chase led all scorers at halftime with 15 points, all from 3-point range. She picked up her 21st game with double digits and her second straight with 25, which tied for game highs. It’s the second game for Chase with 20-points. She had a game-high three steals. Her seven made treys tied for career bests.
Freshman Shaylee Gonzales picked up her 29th contest with double-figure points with 20. The points are her eighth with 20-plus points. Gonzales also tied for team bests in assists with four.
Sophomore Paisley Johnson had 10 points at halftime and ended the game with 19. The points mark her 27th game with double-digit scoring and the last 18 straight. She tied for team bests in assists with four while grabbing five rebounds.
Sophomore Sara Hamson led the way in rebounds and in blocks through the first half with five and two respectively. She pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and a game-best four blocks. Hamson contributed eight points to the team win, including going 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.
Head Coach Jeff Judkins
No.2 seed BYU takes on No. 1 seed Gonzaga in WCC title game
LAS VEGAS —With a (24-6) record, No. 2 seed BYU women’s basketball will play No. 1 seed Gonzaga (28-3) Tuesday, March 12, at 1 p.m. PST at the Orleans Arena for its third WCC Championship trophy. The game will be carried live on ESPNU. It will also air live on BYU Radio.
- The Cougars are making their fourth appearance in the title game of the league tournament since joining the WCC. BYU has two WCC crowns under its belt, winning in 2012 and 2015.
- The Cougars received votes (9) in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll as of March 11. They entered the AP Poll on Jan. 28 and fell out of the top 25 the week of Feb. 4.
- On the year, BYU has a 17-1 record when leading at the half; is 21-3 when making at least 5 treys; is 15-2 when dishing out more assists; and is 14-1 when it pulls down more rebounds than its opponents.
- Freshman Shaylee Gonzales, who has scored in double-digits in 28 games, leads the team in scoring and assists with 16.4 and 4.2 averages, respectively. Sophomore Paisley Johnson contributes 14.7 points while junior Brenna Chase puts up 12.3 points a contest. Chase leads in steals (2.2 spg). Sophomore center Sara Hamson leads the team in rebounding (5.8) and blocks (2.8). Senior forward Jasmine Moody ties for second place in rebounding with Gonzales, averaging 5.5 boards a game.
- The Cougars are averaging 68.8 points and 38.1 rebounds a game. They are holding opponents to just 62.6 points per contest. BYU is shooting 42.6 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from behind the arc and 69.7 percent from the free-throw line.
- For the first time in the history of the series between BYU and Gonzaga, the Cougars swept the Bulldogs. In the first matchup in Provo, BYU beat Gonzaga 70-68 on Jan. 17. In Spokane, the Cougars recorded their first win there, a 66-64 victory on Feb. 16.
- In the WCC Championships, these two teams have met four times compiling a 2-2 record. They battled twice in the semifinals. In 2013, Gonzaga won 62-43 on 3/9/13 and in 2015, BYU won 61-55 on 3/19/15. In the finals, they met in 2012 where BYU won 78-66 on 3/5/12 and in 2014 where Gonzaga won 71-57 on 3/11/14.
- The Bulldogs advanced to the WCC Championship game after a one-point, 78-77 double-overtime win over No. 4 seed St. Mary’s.
- Gonzaga is averaging 73.9 points and 38.8 rebounds per game. They shoot 45.8 percent from the field and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
The winner of the WCC championships gets an automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Championships.