LAS VEGAS — Nearing the midway point of the third quarter down 13 points, the BYU women’s basketball team’s trip to the West Coast Conference Tournament looked like it would be a short one.
The Cougars turned the game around, though, with an 18-3 run over the final five-plus minutes of the third and into the fourth quarter as BYU fended off Pepperdine 68-63 in the WCC semifinals Monday at the Orleans Arena.
Paisley Johnson led the Cougars (24-6) with 20 points, five assists and four rebounds while Shaylee Gonzales added 17 points and seven rebounds.
Yasmine Robinson-Bacote had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Waves (20-11).
Gonzales’ and-one putback with 4:58 to play gave BYU a 63-61 edge, and the Cougars never trailed again. Pepperdine was held without a field goal in the final 5:47.
BYU fell behind 38-32 at the half after giving up 18 offensive rebounds in the opening two quarters. The Waves ended up with a 51-29 rebounding edge, including 25-8 on the offensive glass, but the Cougars held Pepperdine to 34 percent shooting from the field.
Sara Hamson also had a big game for BYU with 10 points, six blocks and five rebounds, while Brenna Chase scored 10 and had five assists.
The Cougars advance to Tuesday’s championship game, where they’ll face Gonzaga at 2 p.m. MT. The Bulldogs beat Saint Mary’s 78-77 in double overtime in Monday’s other semifinal.
This story will be updated.
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News