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BYU Women’s Basketball wins WCC Tournament, clinches spot in NCAA Tournament

NCAA Womens Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs BYU Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The BYU women’s basketball team is going dancing!

BYU won its third match-up with the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Tuesday afternoon 82-68. The win brought BYU it’s third tournament championship since joining the WCC and punched BYU’s ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

The Zags were without senior guard Laura Stockton and sophomore guard Jill Townsend, who went out with injuries in their semifinal against Saint Mary’s.

The Cougars backcourt was excellent, and Brenna Chase was especially phenomenal on the evening, scoring 25 points on seven threes and four free throws. Shaylee Gonzales added 20 points and Paisley Johnson provided 19 for the Cougars.

The Cougars created a small lead early in the first quarter, but a late rally in the quarter by the Bulldogs gave them a 23-19 lead going into the first break. But the Cougars would respond with a 16-0 run to open the second quarter, going up 35-23. The Cougars went into halftime with a twelve point lead at 42-30.

The Cougars and Bulldogs would trade baskets early in the third, before the Zags went on a streak and cut the lead to single digits, before Brenna Chase stopped the momentum by hitting her sixth three. The Cougars would end the third up 65-56.

The fourth quarter was dominated by the Cougars from the field, as the Zags would only score from the free-throw line for the first nine minutes of the quarter. BYU would win 82-68, securing their first tournament championship since 2015.

The Cougars received an auto-bid to the NCAA tournament as a result of the win, and will learn their seeding on Monday, March 18th. The Cougars won all three of their match-ups with the Zags on the season, something they haven’t done since joining the WCC.