Brigham Young University
Mar 06 | 12:00 PM
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Gonzaga University
Tyson Jex | Posted: 6 Mar 2023 | Updated: 20 Jul 2023
Tyson Jex

BYU falls to No. 16 Gonzaga in UCU WCC Semifinal

Arielle Mackey-Williams Gonzaga 2022-23
Nani Falatea Gonzaga 2022-23 Head coach Amber Whiting Gonzaga 2022-23 Arielle Mackey-Williams drives to the basket during a loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the WCC semifinal. Amanda Barcello hits a floater during a loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the WCC semifinal. Nani Falatea directs traffic during a loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the WCC semifinal. Kaylee Smiler and Nani Falatea talk during a loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the WCC semifinal.

LAS VEGAS – BYU’s run through the 2023 University Credit Union West Coast Conference tournament came to an end on Monday afternoon as the Cougars fell to No. 16 Gonzaga 79-64 in the semifinals at the Orleans Arena.

Nani Falatea was one of two Cougars in double figures as BYU shot 35.7 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from three and 89.5 percent from the free throw line. The sophomore finished with 17 points, four steals, four rebounds and three assists.

Emma Calvert finished with 13 points, going 4-of-5 from the field, 1-of-1 from three and 4-of-4 from the free throw line to go along with five rebounds, three assists and a block.

Lauren Gustin had nine points and nine rebounds, giving her 532 rebounds on the season which are the seventh-most in a single season in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.

First Quarter

After taking a 2-0 lead in its first possession of the game on a layup from Gustin, BYU would miss its next four shots as Gonzaga would score the next 10 points taking a 10-2 lead. A Rose Bubakar block spurred a 9-0 run for the Cougars as they held the Zags scoreless for more than three minutes.

Calvert had a team-high four points in the opening quarter after making a pair of free throws in the final minute to cut the Cougars deficit to 14-11.

Second Quarter

Gustin and Calvert scored in the paint in back-to-back possessions to open the second quarter as the Cougars retook the lead, 15-14. Amanda Barcello would tie the game for a third time in the early going, 18-18, with the Cougars second 3-pointer of the game.

Arielle Mackey-Williams ended a 5-0 Gonzaga run with her first 3-pointer of the game, cutting the deficit to 23-21. The Cougars would come up with stops defensively to keep it a six-point game at halftime, 31-25, after going scoreless for the last 3:12 of the first half.

Third Quarter

The Cougars turned the ball over three times in its opening four possessions of the second half as Gonzaga stretched the lead to 15, 40-27, before Smiler got her layup to go.

The defense continued to keep Gonzaga at bay, forcing four turnovers but another shooting slump saw them down 58-35 after 30 minutes of action.

Fourth Quarter

BYU opened the quarter on a 5-0 run on a pair of free throws from Falatea and old-fashioned 3-point play from Gustin to make it 58-43.

The Cougars continued to chip away at the deficit with Smiler connecting on her second 3-pointer of the game, this time from the corner. Calvert was fouled on a defensive rebound and made both free throws for BYU’s second 5-0 run of the half.

Falatea led the charge for the visitors down the stretch with 13 points in the fourth as the Cougars fell to the Zags for a third time this season.


Austin Rustand | Posted: 5 Mar 2023 | Updated: 20 Jul 2023
Austin Rustand

Cougars and Zags meet in UCU WCC semifinals

BYU huddles before a 66-56 win over USF at the WCC Tournament.

LAS VEGAS – BYU women's basketball takes on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the 2023 University Credit Union WCC Basketball Tournament at 12 p.m. PT at the Orleans Arena. The winner will earn the right to play either Portland or Pacific in the WCC Championship game on Tuesday.

BYU (15-15, 9-9) vs. Gonzaga (27-3, 17-1)
Monday, March 6
12 p.m. PT
Orleans Arena
TV/Stream: BYUtv
Live Stats

Game Notes

Follow on Twitter: @byuwbb

GONZAGA: Gonzaga comes into the WCC Semifinal having not taken the court since knocking off the Cougars in Provo on Feb. 25, 58-51. In that same time, BYU has played three games, going 2-1 with wins over Pepperdine (74-59) and San Francisco (66-56) and a loss to No. 2 seed Portland. The Zags shot only 36 percent from the field and 13 percent from three in the game against the Cougars, yet held BYUto 2-for-12 shooting down the stretch to earn a seven-point win. Kaylynne Truong was named the WCC Player of the Year as she averaged 16.2 points, five assists and three rebounds on the year.

LAST GAME: BYU knocked San Francisco out of the WCC Tournament as Kaylee Smiler held the WCC’s leading scorer Ioanna Krimili to five points on 2-of-11 from the floor as the Cougars downed the Dons 66-56 on Saturday. BYU matched its season high with 12 made threes en route to the 10-point win despite three Cougar starters fouling out in the fourth quarter. Forward Emma Calvert led all scorers with 17 points, going 6-for-10 from the field with five triples, four rebounds, an assist and a block. The BYU backcourt of Nani Falatea and Arielle Mackey Williams combined for 29 points on 10-of-17 from the field and five threes while also dishing out five assists in the win. Lauren Gustin shattered the WCC record for rebounds in a game as she finished with nine points and 27 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards, four assists and a steal.

MILESTONES AND AWARDS: With 27 rebounds against the Dons on Saturday, Lauren Gustin has totaled 523 rebounds this season which is the ninth-best mark in Division I history. She also became the first player at any level of NCAA basketball this season to record both 500 points and 500 rebounds. Gustin was named WCC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and was joined by Nani Falatea on the All-WCC First Team while Amanda Barcello was selected to the WCC All-Freshman Team. Gustin would become the first player in any level of NCAA basketball to record both 500 points and 500 rebounds this season.

NATION’S BEST: Gustin has been named one of 10 final candidates for the 2023 Katrina McClain Award, her second-consecutive year with that honor. She leads the nation with 16.9 rebounds per game and 523 total rebounds. She is second in the country with 26 double-doubles in 31 games. The junior from Salem, Utah has posted 20 or more rebounds eight times this year to lead the country. Gustin was also named to the Naismith College Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Award watch list.