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Scorching First Half Not Enough as BYU Falls to Gonzaga in WCC Finals

NCAA Basketball-WCC Tournament-BYU vs Gonzaga Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

BYU had an all-time first half, but the Zags were too much in the second half as BYU fell 88-78 in the WCC Finals.

BYU shot 68% and had only 3 turnovers in the first half en route to a 53-41 halftime lead. Gonzaga came out of halftime and quickly closed the lead, but BYU kept it close until a couple late threes by freshman Jalen Suggs sealed the game for Gonzaga.

Trevin Knell was the high man off the bench with 20 points — including 15 in the first half — and 4 of BYU’s 5 starters were in double figures. Gonzaga’s defensive pressure in the second half is what really disrupted BYU’s offense. Gonzaga put full court pressure on BYU and guarded the ball 30+ feet in the halfcourt. BYU’s offense couldn’t get in a rhythm and responded with sub 30% shooting in the second half.

BYU is a lock for the NCAA Tournament and will find out its seeding this upcoming Sunday. Since BYU can’t play on Sundays, meaning BYU’s first game will be Saturday, March 20. BYU will likely fall between the 7-9 seeds, and hopefully this performance showed the committee enough that the Cougars can get off the dreaded 8-9 line and snag a 7 seed.