"I know we need to go through them to win a championship so we'll be focused on that," long-time BYU coach Jeff Judkins said, referring to the Cougars leaving the Mountain West Conference to join the WCC next year while their football game goes independent. "That's what I told my girls, this is the team we'll be fighting for the conference with."
Kayla Standish had 16 of her 22 in the first half, Katelan Redmon had 15 of her 20 in the second. Coriann Fraughton, who is from Connell, WA, had 16 points for BYU, Mindy Bonham 15.
GU point guard Courtney Vandersloot was just 8 points and 9 assists but Kelly Bowen and Janelle Bekkering made up for it with 14 apiece.
Every statistical positive BYU had coming in went down, topped by Gonzaga scoring 22 more against the Cougars than third-ranked Duke.
"I was impressed, they are very well coached, they did a great job executing," Judkins said. "Part of that is at home it's different. I'm going to be excited to play them at our place. I've played her twice, it's a tough place. They haven't lost very many games here."
BYU lost here in the first round of the 2005 WNIT 71-57. That game drew 3,603 fans, 21 more fans this meeting, making them the seventh and eighth biggest crowds in the MAC for women's basketball.
"We really haven't played this kind of game in a while and it showed tonight," Judkins said. "We played Duke the first game of the year and it was like this, Northwestern. We have been home, we haven't played on the road. I knew when I did this it was a tough game. They're hard to beat here."
After losing to Duke 69-54 and at UI Chicago 59-56 in the second game, BYU won three over Washington (by 25), Utah State (by 32) and Wisconsin (by 12) before losing by two to Northwestern. They hadn't lost since or played a particularly tough game.