Brigham Young University
Mar 05 | 01:00 PM
78 - 66
Gonzaga University
Orleans Arena

4500 West Tropicana Avenue Las Vegas NV 89103

rachelhawks | Posted: 5 Mar 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars Crowned Conference Champs


BYU vs. Gonzaga Box Score

LAS VEGAS— The BYU women’s basketball team dethroned reigning champion Gonzaga Monday to take the 2012 West Coast Conference Championship title at the Orleans Arena with the help of epic performances from Cougar post players.

The win propels BYU (26-6, 12-4) to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 after taking second in regular season play. Monday's victory was also the Cougars' first conference tournament title since 2002.

View slideshow of WCC Championship game.

View video highlights and interviews.

“I can’t be more proud of my team," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We have gone through a lot this year. Things looked bad sometimes, but I thought tonight was one of our best performances as a team.”

Dani Peterson’s career-high 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting and 12 rebounds, her third double-double of the season, aided the Cougars on their path to victory. Haley Steed and Jennifer Hamson contributed 17 points apiece while Hamson had eight rebounds and Steed had eight assists.

“Defensive was our mind set, we didn’t want to give them anything easy," Peterson said. "They have good players all the way around. The last time we played them their bigs went off on us and so that was a focus and to make their guards beat us from the outside."

Kim Parker dished out with a career-high 10 assists and Kristen Riley added 10 rebounds.

Gonzaga (26-5) had three players in double figures with Haiden Palmer scoring a game-high 28.

"Gonzaga came out on fire. I thought they shot the ball really well the first bit of the game, but fortunately for us we shot the ball well too. It’s a team effort and that’s what this team has been about from day one," Judkins added.

Peterson came out on fire with four of the team’s first six points as the Cougars exchanged buckets with the Bulldogs. Gonzaga launched a 6-0 run with the help of Kayla Standish to put BYU behind 18-12.

Down 21-14, Steed connected with Stephanie Vermunt and Parker for back-to-back treys to steal back the lead. Gonzaga responded to the 8-0 BYU run with nine-straight points of its own to lead 32-24.

Eaton ended the run with a contested layup and a Riley three pulled BYU within five at 34-29. Steed drove to the hoop for a layup and added a three to cut the deficit to one. Eaton's jumper with 1:23 to go sent the Cougars into the locker room with a 36-35 lead.

The Cougars also dominated from the field, hitting 71.4 percent of their shots and 66.7 percent from 3-point land. BYU turnovers kept the game close, giving Gonzaga 13 points.

BYU took control with a 7-2 run to start the second half before the Bulldogs got back into rhythm and tied the game at 45-45 with 16:25 left in the game. The tie was short lived as Steed hit all three free throws after being fouled on a three to give BYU a lead it would not relinquish. The foul shots started an 8-2 run that gave the Cougars a 55-47 lead.

At 14:08, Lexi Eaton stole the ball off a bad pass by Bulldog Palmer and took it down the court for a layup despite heavy pursuit of two Bulldogs. Steed drained a deep 3-pointer to give the Cougars a double-figure lead at 62-51 and Peterson increased that lead to 13 on a layup.

BYU held on for the ride, preventing Gonzaga comeback attempts to finish the game at 78-66.

“Our team played together today, I’m so proud of them," Haley Steed commented. "Every single person that played today played big. Dani (Peterson) played the best I have ever seen her play. Jen (Hamson) gave us a huge inside presence."

Hamson and Peterson were named to the all-tournament team and Steed was selected tournament MVP.

BYUtv will rebroadcast the game Monday at 9:30 p.m. MT and Thursday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. MT

Postgame Notes


  • The Cougars shot a season-best 60.4 percent (29 of 48) from the field, including 71.4 percent in the second half. BYU also shot 50.0 percent from three (7 of 14) — its second-best percentage of the season — and 86.7 percent from the free throw line (13 of 15).
  • BYU outrebounded Gonzaga 14 to seven in the first half. For the game the Cougars outrebounded the Zags 36 to 21. Dani Peterson and Kristen Riley contributed 12 and 10 boards, respectively, to lead BYU.
  • BYU went into the locker room at halftime with a one-point 36-35 advantage, improving its record to 22-0 when leading at the half.
  • By winning the 2012 WCC Championships, the Cougars advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. It is BYU’s first conference tournament championship since 2002.


  • Haley Steed dished out eights assists. She has posted eight-plus assists 16 times this season.
  • Steed scored 17 points while hitting 3 of 4 from three, her 13th double figure game this season and 41st of her career.
  • For the second-straight game Jennifer Hamson came off the bench to put up double digits in points with 17 on 7 of 11 shooting. It marks the 13th double figure game this year and the 23rd of her career.
  • Dani Peterson scored a career-high 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting, her eighth double-digit outing of the year and 12th of her career. She also had 12 rebounds for her third career double-double, all of which have come this season.
  • Kim Parker dished out a career-high 10 assists in the game.
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Norma Bertoch | Posted: 4 Mar 2012 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Norma Bertoch

WCC Final vs. Gonzaga


With a 64-46 victory over the No. 3 seed San Diego Toreros, the No. 2 seed Cougar women’s basketball team (25-6) advanced to the title game of the 2012 WCC Basketball Championship.

Watch Preview Press Conference

BYU will play Gonzaga (26-4), the No. 1 seed in the tournament. The two top teams in the WCC will battle on Mon., Mar. 5 at noon PST. The game airs live on ESPNU and on BYU Radio.

The winner receives an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

2011-12 Team Summary
- Shooting from field: (.437, 814-1862)
- Shooting from 3-point line: (.346, 210-607)
- Shooting from free-throw line: (.733, 374-510)
- Average points per game: 71.4
- Average rebounds per game: 40.8
- Average assists per game: 19.3
- Average steals per game: 9.3
- Average blocks per game: 6.0
- Average turnovers per game: 15.7

2011-12 BYU Probable Starters          
No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG
32 Dani Peterson F 6-1 Sr 6.6 5.2
35 Kristen Riley C 6-3 Sr 11.6 8.0
33 Haley Steed G 5-4 Sr 8.7 4.9
04 Kim Parker G 5-11 So 9.8 3.1
21 Lexi Eaton G 5-10 Fr 10.7 3.1

2011-12 Player Summary
-Leading scorer: Senior Kristen Riley - averages 11.6 points
-Leading rebounder: Riley - averages 8.0 boards per game
-Assist & Steals leader: Senior Haley Steed - 223 and 70 respectively.
-Top blocker: Jennifer Hamson - 73 total
-Best field goal percentage: Hamson - (.566, 98-173)
-Best free throw percentage: Kim Parker - (.836, 51-61)
-Best 3-pt field goal percentage: Stephanie Vermunt - (.469, 45-96)

Record Breaking Players
- Haley Steed has recorded 545 assists as of 03/03/12, which places her in second place all-time. She needs 68 to tie for first place with Valerie Cravens who dished out a career 613. With the 11 assists she dished out in the home game vs. Santa Clara she set the all-time season record for total assists with 207 and as of 03/03/12, her season total is at 222.
- Steed has 218 steals to date for eighth place all-time and needs 11 to tie for seventh place with Karina Zapata’s career high 229.
- Steed has made 185 3-pointers as of 03/03/12, putting her in fourth place overall. She needs 19 to tie for third place with Cougar standout Kari Gallup.
- Kristen Riley has 85 blocks as of 03/03/12, placing her in fifth place all-time. She needs 40 to tie for fourth place with the 125 recorded by All-American Jill Adams.                                            
- Riley has grabbed 725 rebounds as of 02/26/12, which puts her in sixth place all-time. She needs to grab 33 to tie with Lisa Rathbun for fifth place overall with 758.
- Riley has a total of 1,027 points as of 03/03/12, becoming BYU's 22nd player to reach 1,000 points in her career. With the 1,027 total points she ranks 20th all-time. She needs 11 to tie with Kim Talbot’s 1,038 points for 19th place in the prestigious 1,000 points club.
- Riley has played in a total of 127 games as of 3/03/12, which puts her tied in second place with Erin Thorn’s 127 total career games played. She needs to play in three more to tie for the top spot at 130 games currently held by Jennie Keele.
- As of 03/03/12, 6-7 sophomore center Jennifer Hamson has tallied 118 blocks for a fifth-place rank overall. She needs seven to tie for fourth place all-time with the 125 recorded by Jill Adams.


2011-12 Season Honors
Kristen Riley -
WCC Player of the Year, All-Conference Team
Lexi Eaton - WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year, All- Freshman Team
Haley Steed - WCC All-Conference Team
Jennifer Hamson- Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll by on 2/15/12.
Jennifer Hamson- Madness West Coast Women’s Basketball Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on 2/13/12.
Jennifer Hamson - WCC All Academic Team
Kim Parker - WCC All Academic Team
Kim Parker- WCC Player of the Week, 2/13/12
Kim Parker- WCC Player of the Week, 12/5/11
Kristen Riley- WCC Player of the Month for January 2/8/12
Kristen Riley- WCC Player of the Week 1/30/12



During the regular WCC season these two team’s split the series with each winning on its home court.

First meeting:BYU 70, Gonzaga 40 - 2/9/12 in Provo
Of Note
Kristen Riley picked up her seventh double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Dani Peterson grabbed 10 rebounds, which tied for second most on the season.
• Scorers - Parker (16), for game highs, Hamson (14) off the bench, Riley (11).
Haley Steed dished out a game-best 10 assists.

Second meeting:Gonzaga 77,  BYU 60 - 2/25/12 in Spokane
Of Note
Haley Steed picked up her 12th double-figure game in points with a team-best 17 points. The points included five 3-pointers, which were season bests in that category. The total points also marked the 40th overall double digit contest in her career. She also had a game-high eight assists.
• Scorers - Steed (17), Eaton (13), Riley (11).
Kristen Riley led the team effort on the glass grabbing a team-best nine rebounds. She also had a game-high three blocks.


What’s Next
The winner of the 2012 WCC Basketball Championship receives an automatic bid into the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

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