PROVO, Utah – 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.
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.