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By Wednesday afternoon, all was well with the Gonzaga women’s basketball program.
Jalen Suggs’ play and permanent postgame grin said it all.
All of it – Gonzaga’s spotless record, the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and the WCC Tournament championship – was on the line in the closing minutes.
Well, there's your blueprint on how to beat Gonzaga.
It was the first and almost surely the last WCC Tournament for Jalen Suggs, so Gonzaga's freshman phenom made sure to finish it with a flourish.
Questions asked. Questions answered.
Difference makers and turning point from Gonzaga's WCC Tournament championship game against BYU on March 9, 2021, in Las Vegas
When Gonzaga needed someone to step up, Yvonne Ejim raised her hand.
Every good scrap deserves a good scrapbook, and it was our luck the Gonzaga Bulldogs made one as they went along Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas.
It really was the ultimate gut check.
The first two meetings weren’t exactly instant classics, but BYU coach Mark Pope believes his team can change that in round three against No. 1 Gonzaga. The Zags and second-seeded Cougars tangle Tuesday at 6 p.m. for the WCC Tournament title at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
BYU took a 12-point lead into the halftime break and mounted the biggest threat to Gonzaga’s perfect season, but Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert and the Bulldogs regrouped in the second half and overcame the Cougars 88-78 to win the West Coast Conference Tournament championship at Orleans Arena.
Matt Haarms added 18 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars, which trailed most of the game.
There are no guarantees in college basketball, but Gonzaga winning a WCC Tournament semifinal game is about as close as it gets.
And we've reached the point of the program where the convenient truth is that Gonzaga can't win the national championship because it has Saint Mary's 30 points down in March.
It sometimes seems the main ESPN pastime this time of year is to question Gonzaga’s résumé. No matter even, it seems, if the Bulldogs are perfect, at least by record as they are in 2021.
Difference makers and turning point from Gonzaga's WCC Tournament semifinal against Saint Mary's on March 8, 2021, in Las Vegas.
The Orleans Arena holds a lot of memories for the Gonzaga women – most of them good, except for the last 2 years.
Don’t expect a big motivational speech on Tuesday from Gonzaga women’s coach Lisa Fortier.
Gonzaga played smothering defense early and held off a fourth-quarter charge from Santa Clara to beat the Broncos 72-62 in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals at Orleans Arena.