Women in WCC championship title game
LAS VEGAS--BYU women’s basketball (22-9) is in the WCC Championship title game after a second-straight upset victory in this year’s league tournament. No. 5 seed BYU, upset No. 1 seed Gonzaga, 61-55 in the semifinals.
The Cougars will battle No. 6 seed San Francisco, who also got an upset in the semifinals, a 65-57 win over No. 2 seed San Diego. During the regular season, BYU swept the series vs. the Dons.
Lexi Eaton, a 5-foot-10 junior guard/forward combo, leads the Cougars in scoring, averaging 20.7 points per game. She ranks third in rebounds, pulling down 6.5 boards. Morgan Bailey, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, the 2015 WCC Player of the Year, is in second place in scoring, tallying 17.2 points, while leading the way in rebounding, averaging 10.6 boards per game. Bailey became BYU’s 26th player to eclipse 1,000 points in the USF game in San Francisco. The team’s assist leader is Kylie Maeda, who averages 4.3 assists a game.
BYU is averaging 68.4 points per game, while shooting 43.2 percent from the field, 71.6 percent at the free-throw line and 35.3 percent from 3-point land. In 23 games (most recent vs. SMC in the WCC tourney) the Cougars have dished out more assists than their opponents and have pulled down more rebounds in 14 contests to date. When leading at the break, they are 16-2 and have scored at least 80 points in six games (most recent, 82 at Pacific).
The team has had four players score in double figures in four contests, (most recent at Pacific) and has had three players finish with double-digit points in 12 games (most recent vs. Gonzaga, in the WCC semifinals).
BYU head coach Jeff Judkins recorded his 300th win with the 77-58 home victory over Pepperdine on Feb. 5, 2015. With the home win vs. Portland, the program picked up the sixth straight 20-win season, the eighth under Judkins.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) 14th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 L. Eaton, 20.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #41 M. Bailey, 10.6 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #15 K. Maeda, 4.3 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #23 M. Morrison, 1.6 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #41, M. Bailey, .68 bpg
About SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco enters the WCC championship game with a 19-12 record after getting an upset 65-57 win over No. 2 seed San Diego.
Two players are scoring in double figures for USF, led by Taylor Proctor, who averages 15.7 points and a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game. Taj Winston follows, contributing 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.
San Francisco scores 70.0 points a game, grabs 38.4 rebounds, shoots 42.6 percent from the field and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line. When attempting shots from behind the arc, USF is shooting 32.2 percent.
• Head coach: Jennifer Azzi (Stanford, 1990) Fifth season
• Team’s leading scorer: #32 T. Proctor, 15.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #32 T. Proctor, 7.8 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #1 Z. Dikes, 2.5 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #2 T. Winston, 2.4 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #03 P. Spietz, 1.0 bpg
The Cougars lead the overall series 12-2 and swept USF this year. Head coach Jeff Judkins is 9-2 against the Dons. This will be the second time the two league foes have played on a neutral court.
The first meeting was played in Provo on Jan. 3, with BYU getting the, 65-62 home victory behind a double-double from Morgan Bailey with 26 points and 12 boards. Lexi Eaton contributed 18 points with Ashley Garfield also grabbing 12 rebounds. The visiting Dons took a 35-33 edge at the break.The teams went back-and-forth exchanging the lead in the second half until BYU captured the momentum in the final 10 minutes. With 3:14 left and BYU hanging on to a 59-53 lead, Garfield found Bailey in the low-post for an easy lay-in. Bailey was fouled on the shot and made the following free throw to extend its lead, the largest of the game, 62-53. The Dons answered on the next few possessions, hitting four free throws and draining a 3-pointer at the top of the key to cut the Cougars’ lead to 62-60 with just under two minutes to play. However, the Cougar defense stiffened and Maeda made four free throws in the final minute to hold off San Francisco for the win.
BYU got a 68-63 victory in San Francisco on Jan. 29 in the second meeting. Bailey recorded another double-double from 19 points and 11 boards, while playing all 40 minutes. The Cougars took a 31-27 lead at halftime. Eaton scored seven points in a row, 50-34 with under 11 minutes left in the game. With 6:25 in the game, the Cougars’ lead was 57-42. BYU was held scoreless for three minutes, allowing USF to close the gap. A Dons 3-pointer shrunk the Cougars lead to 59-54 with one minute left. San Francisco went on a 9-0 run and held BYU scoreless for three minutes. Despite the Dons getting within one, 64-63, the Cougars hit key free throws down the stretch to close out the game and hold on to the victory.
A win over San Francisco would give BYU its second WCC Championship title in four years and an automatic bid into the 2015 NCAA tournament.
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