BYU opens NCAA Championship run with game vs. Auburn
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball (25-6) is making its 13th appearance in the NCAA Championships receiving a No. 7 seed. The Cougars will play No. 10 seed Auburn (22-9) Saturday, Mar. 23, at 12:30 p.m. PT at Maples Pavilion on the Stanford campus. The game will be carried live on ESPN2 and on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143. Locally fans can follow the action on 107.9 FM and 89.1 FM HD2. A live audio stream will also be available on byuradio.org.
- For the third time in program history, BYU received a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The last time the Cougars were in the NCAA Championships was during the 2015-16 season where they were a No. 7 seed and lost to Missouri in the First Round. BYU has a 5-12 record in the postseason tournament. This year’s invitation is the ninth under head coach Jeff Judkins.
- The Cougars made the tournament as the automatic qualifier by beating No. 12/14 Gonzaga 82-68 in the West Coast Conference Championship. It was BYU’s third WCC tournament title.
- This week the Cougars received 24 votes in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. They entered the AP Poll on Jan. 28 and fell out of the top 25 the week of Feb. 4. The team enters the tournament on an eight-game win streak.
- On the year, BYU has an 18-1 record when leading at the half; is 22-3 when making at least 5 treys; is 15-2 when dishing out more assists, and is 13-1 when it pulls down more rebounds than its opponents.
- Freshman Shaylee Gonzales, who has scored in double-digits in 29 games, leads the team in scoring and assists with 16.5 and 4.2 averages, respectively. Sophomore Paisley Johnson contributes 14.8 points while junior Brenna Chase puts up 12.7 points a contest. Chase leads in steals (2.3 spg). Sophomore center Sara Hamson leads the team in rebounding (5.8) and blocks (2.8).
- The Cougars are averaging 69.2 points and 37.9 rebounds a game. They are holding opponents to just 62.8 points per contest. BYU is shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from behind the arc and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
- The Auburn Tigers have compiled a 22-9 record and are making their 21st all-time NCAA Tournament bid and the third in the last four seasons.
- Auburn finished in sixth place in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with a 9-7 record. It advanced to the quarterfinals where it lost by two, 64-62, to Texas A&M.
- The Tigers are averaging 71.9 points and 34.2 rebounds per game. They shoot 42.2 percent from the field, 32.3 percent from 3-point range and 71.1 percent from the free-throw line.
- Four players are putting up double-digit points for Auburn led by 13.8 points from senior guard Janiah McKay. Junior guard Daisa Alexander is next in scoring with 12.6 points. Sophomore forward Unique Thompson follows with 12.2 points. Rounding out the scoring for the Tigers is junior guard Chrystal Primm who contributes 10.4 points. Thompson leads the way in rebounds with a 10.0 average while McKay tops the leaderboard in assists with a 4.1 average.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
A win over Auburn would send the Cougars in to the Second Round of the NCAA Championships with the game to be played on Monday, Mar. 25. They would play the winner of Saturday’s game between host Stanford and UC Davis. A start time for that game will be announced later.