Cougar girls win convention title; males end season with second straight blowout victory.
Provo • The BYU girls’s basketball staff waited for this second all season. The second when the Cougars may formally say the West Coast Convention title belonged to them and solely them.
The Cougars secured the outright championship Saturday with a blowout 82-52 street win over Pacific, bringing their WCC report to 15-1 and 25-2 total. It’s the staff’s first convention title for the reason that 2015-16 season.
“That is large for our program to have the ability to win this convention,” coach Jeff Judkins mentioned by way of videoconference after the sport. “Gonzaga has received it so a few years. It’s good for us to have the ability to actually do it.”
The ladies not solely secured the common season title, but in addition earned the WCC Event’s No. 1 total seed. Their run begins Monday, March 7.
“We’re favored to win the match,” Judkins mentioned. “We’re going to go on the market with a number of confidence and know that we will do this.”
Sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales had 18 factors, eight rebounds and 4 steals. Senior guard Paisley Harding added 14 factors.
The lads, in the meantime, beat Pepperdine 75-59 and unofficially grabbed the No. 5 seed within the match. Meaning they’ll play Friday, March 4, to start out their WCC Event run.
“That’s not an area we’ve occupied perhaps ever,” Pope mentioned of the staff’s place within the match. “I do like our development. I do like our momentum.”
Senior guard Te’Jon Lucas had a message of persistence, saying the Cougars will take issues one recreation at a time as soon as the WCC Event begins. In the identical breath, he set free what could possibly be thought-about one thing of a warning to different groups.
“Touchdown in fifth is clearly not the place we wished to be,” Lucas mentioned. “I believe we most likely can be one of many scariest fifth-place groups within the convention and any convention.”
The Cougars, Lucas mentioned, have been taking part in with a way of urgency for the previous couple of weeks. After dropping 4 straight video games final would possibly, virtually each recreation since has been as near a must-win as potential if BYU wished to maintain its spot on the bubble of the NCAA Event image.
That heightened focus is perhaps the sting the Cougars want to ensure that them to have an opportunity at some upsets.
“Actually, we’ve been taking part in like our life is on the road for the final couple of weeks,” Lucas mentioned. So that is nothing new to us and I believe we’re going to hold that edge over to Vegas.”
Freshman Fousseyni Traore had a profession recreation, scoring 25 factors, grabbing 19 rebounds and blocking two photographs. He acquired reward from each Alex Barcello and Lucas after the sport, when he had already completed his postgame media session.
However Traore expressed simply as a lot confidence as his senior teammates in terms of what’s forward.
“I really feel prefer it’s time,” Traore mentioned. “We’re all excited. We’re going to go do some large issues there. Simply wait and see.”
In a tribute, coach Mark Pope subbed in seniors Gavin Baxter and Richard Harward for one possession. The 2 suffered season-ending accidents and had not performed in any respect. Baxter tore his ACL earlier within the season, and Harward took a “step again” from basketball attributable to a coronary heart concern.