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BERKELEY, Calif. – Christian Stewart threw for 433 yards and five touchdowns, and Brigham Young kept California from becoming bowl eligible with a 42-35 win over the Golden Bears on Saturday. Stewart tossed a 38-yard TD pass to a wide-open Jordan Leslie with 2:39 remaining for the go-ahead score, setting off chants of “B-Y-U! B-Y-U!” at half-filled Memorial Stadium. The Cougars (8-4) stopped record-setting Cal quarterback Jared Goff one more time for their fourth straight victory.
Don’t count Kelly Graves among those trying to predict where the selection committee will place his No. 18 Gonzaga women’s basketball team on “Selection Monday.” The West Coast Conference champion Bulldogs (27-4) earned the automatic bid last Tuesday when they beat Brigham Young 71-57 in the conference tournament final in Las Vegas. The team will gather at 4 p.m. Monday to learn where it will play in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament that starts Saturday.
LAS VEGAS – Gonzaga’s starters had taken their final bows, another WCC women’s basketball tournament championship had been secured and the last seconds were melting away. GU fans rose to their feet and offered a standing ovation. Coach Kelly Graves joined right in, applauding his players and then doing the same as he turned and faced the crowd, the majority of the 7,898 at Orleans Arena wearing Bulldogs’ gear.
PROVO, Utah – Normally easy-going Sam Dower Jr. sat on a stool inside a cramped locker room with a look of complete frustration on his face. Gonzaga was in chase mode most of the game but the Bulldogs couldn’t string together enough clean possessions and/or defensive stops to catch BYU, which dug out a 73-65 victory Thursday in front of a noisy crowd of 19,136 at the Marriott Center.
The Cougars took the lead for good by scoring the first six points of the second half, going on to claim a 73-65 victory Thursday in front of 19,136 at the Marriott Center.
Jennifer Hamson scored 18 of her 20 points in the second half and Lexi Eaton had 15 points and 10 rebounds as BYU ended Gonzaga’s 13-game winning streak with a 62-52 win Saturday.
Gonzaga’s backcourt took center stage. David Stockton, Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos stuffed the stat sheet and Sam Dower Jr. added 18 points as the Bulldogs pulled away from BYU 84-69 in front of an energized crowd of 6,000 Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
One of the beauties and/or curses of athletics is how quickly teams have to flip the script to the next game. Take Gonzaga, which is coming off a grind-it-out, 59-56 win over upset-minded San Diego. And take BYU, which is coming off a disheartening 114-110 triple- overtime setback at Portland.
After a grind-it-out victory over San Diego on Thursday, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will take on high-scoring Brigham Young Saturday at McCarthey Athletic Center.
COMING UP: Tonight vs. San Diego, 7 (ESPNU); Saturday vs. BYU, 7 (ESPN2) OUTLOOK: San Diego was picked to finish fifth in the West Coast Conference preseason poll but has struggled with a road-heavy schedule in the first half of conference play. Guard Johnny Dee is averaging a team-high 16.5 points and has cracked San Diego’s top 10 scoring list. Christopher Anderson leads the WCC at 5.9 assists per game and he’s third in school history with 461 career assists. Wing Duda Sanadze (13.3 points per game) had a career-high 25 points in a road win over Santa Clara last week and forward Dennis Kramer averages 11.4 points, 6.4 rebounds.
With his suit coat off and tie loosened, Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves proudly proclaimed the 68-42 drubbing of BYU Thursday night as one of the best defensive efforts he’d ever seen inside the Kennel. The Cougars came into the game at McCarthey Athletic Center with all-world center Jennifer Hamson. The 6-7 senior was averaging 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds a game. She ended the loss with five points and two rebounds.
With his suit coat off and tie loosened, Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves proudly proclaimed the 68-42 drubbing of BYU Thursday night as one of the best defensive efforts he’d ever seen inside the Kennel.
SAN FRANCISCO – As the bus arrived and Washington’s defensive players and coaches filed off, the Huskies’ offensive squad waiting outside Glide Memorial Church prepared to board the same bus and head back to the team hotel. They worked in shifts serving Christmas meals to homeless and poor families and individuals: first the offense, then the defense.
The top-seeded Bulldogs utilized multiple scoring options and smothering pressure defense to crush No. 4 seed BYU 62-43 in the WCC women’s basketball tournament semifinals at the Orleans Arena.
It’s happened to virtually every Gonzaga standout player through the years. They become the focus of opponents’ scouting reports, draw the most attention, an occasional gimmick defense and usually end up with the most bruises.
There are no guarantees in men’s college basketball this season, as demonstrated by an upset-filled last month. That applies to No. 2 Gonzaga, which has adeptly sidestepped the Top 10 upset craze to reach the highest Associated Press ranking in program history. After No. 1 Indiana lost to Minnesota on Tuesday, the natural assumption was that Gonzaga was next in line for the top spot.
Gonzaga did what it wanted on offense, pounding the ball inside to Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk. At the other end of the floor, the Bulldogs bottled up BYU’s leading scorer, Tyler Haws, and kept Brandon Davies in check for most of the game.
One basketball team trying to bounce back from an excruciating loss takes on another team that just went through the process.
Brigham Young University’s women’s basketball team reacted to leading scorer Lexi Eaton’s season-ending injury in an unusual way. The Cougars went out and won nine consecutive games.