Stephanie Golden scored a career-high 16 points Saturday afternoon and Gonzaga captured the West Coast Conference women’s basketball title outright with a 66-55 win over Brigham Young at Provo, Utah.
The Bulldogs (24-5, 14-1) recorded their 12th consecutive win and the 350th of coach Kelly Graves’ career while claiming their ninth consecutive WCC title. Gonzaga had already clinched at least a share of the title, but BYU (19-8, 10-4) opened the day with an outside shot at tying the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga will complete its regular season at 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Portland. The top-seeded Bulldogs will have a bye at the WCC tournament in Las Vegas until the March 9 semifinals.
Golden, a junior center, came off the bench to shoot 6 of 10 from the floor and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line. Golden has had a brilliant 10-day period, scoring a season-high 13 on Feb. 14, topping that with 14 on Feb. 16 and reaching a career high against BYU.
Golden hit three jumpers during a 3-minute span of the first half as the Bulldogs took a 16-10 lead after a 12-0 run.
Golden added a jumper and a three-point play during a 9-0 run that gave GU a 29-20 lead with 2:45 left in the first half.
BYU cut Gonzaga’s lead to 39-37 early in the second half, but the Bulldogs responded with a 19-5 run to lead 58-42 with 6:08 remaining.
GU’s Haiden Palmer added 13 points and nine rebounds. Sunny Greinacher had 10 points and six rebounds; Jazmine Redmon added 10 points, six assists and four steals; and Taelor Karr scored 10.
Jennifer Hamson, held to two points when BYU played at GU, shot 8 of 10 from the floor and scored a game-high 20 points.