BYU wins WCC crown with win over Pacific


STOCKTON, Calif. – The No. 19 BYU women’s basketball team won its regular-season finale against Pacific 82-52 to claim the outright regular-season West Coast Conference championship on Saturday afternoon.

“I knew that this team had a chance to be one of the best we’ve had at BYU,” head coach Jeff Judkins said. “A lot of players sacrificed to get here and now they have chance to do something special. We have a lot more work to do but I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work they’ve put in this year.”

The win marked BYU’s (25-2, 15-1) second WCC championship and fifth league title under Judkins. The Cougars finished first in the WCC in 2015-16.

BYU will also be No. 1 seed at next week’s WCC Tournament in Las Vegas and play Monday in the semifinals.

Four players scored in double figures, led by Shaylee Gonzales’ 18 points. Paisley Harding scored 14, Tegan Graham made four 3-pointes for 12 points and Lauren Gustin added her 14th double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Gonzales added eight rebounds, four steals and three assists while Graham led the Cougars with five helpers and Maria Albiero added four of her own.

Box Score

First half
BYU opened the game on an 11-0 run and never really looked back. The Cougars picked up five steals and cashed in throughout the first quarter with quick buckets, finishing the quarter with a Graham three-pointer for a 23-9 lead after the first 10 minutes.

The second quarter started just the same as the first, with an 11-0 BYU run before Pacific broke up the run with a triple. BYU answered back with its own trey from Graham and a jumper by Gonzales to stay in front 39-14 with three minutes left until halftime.

Arielle Mackey-Williams got some first-half action off the bench and knocked down a three-pointer and a transition layup and another runner at the buzzer for seven points and a 50-20 lead at halftime.

Second half
BYU continued to run in the second half but the Tigers kept pace after six minutes of play. Gonzales sank two more freebies and Lauren Gustin got loose for an easy layup, making it 65-30 with under four minutes to go until the fourth.  

In control, the Cougars got the future of the program plenty of minutes in the fourth quarter with Rose Bubakar, Emma Calvert, Kate Vorwaller, Devry Millett and Mackey-Williams all getting extended minutes.

BYU will await its matchup for the West Coast Conference Tournament next week. The Cougars will be the No. 1 overall seed and play Monday after a double bye to the semifinal matchup.