Gonzaga women upend No. 15 BYU to win WCC title 71-59

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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LAS VEGAS — Melody Kempton scored 15 points and Gonzaga defeated No. 15 BYU 71-59 on Tuesday in the championship game of the West Coast Conference tournament to earn its 13th NCAA Tournament berth.

It was a big turnaround for second-seeded Gonzaga, which dropped two games to the top-seeded Cougars in the regular season, getting outscored 105-34 in the sixth quarters after leading 35-20 at halftime of the first game.

Gonzaga defeated the Cougars in the championship game last year, 43-42, on a basket as time expired.

The Truong twins, Kaylynne and starter Kayleigh, scored 14 and 12 points respectively for the Bulldogs (26-6) and Yvonne Ejim had 11.

Kaylynne Truong hit two triples and all four of her free throws to score 10 points in the fourth quarter when Gonzaga made 6 of 8 shots, including three 3-pointers, and 13 of 16 free throws.

WCC player of the year Shaylee Gonzales scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for BYU (26-3), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped, a span that included both wins over Gonzaga. Paisley Harding added 14 points and Lauren Gustin 10.

An 8-0 run in the first quarter put Gonzaga up for good but BYU, going for its fourth tournament title, stayed close, trailing 43-38 going into the fourth quarter after two Gonzales layups.

Twice in the opening moments of the fourth quarter BYU got within three points but Kempton had consecutive baskets and Kaylynne Truong had her second 3 of quarter, putting Gonzaga on top 53-43 with 6 1/2 minutes to go.

Tegan Graham had a 3-pointer for BYU, but Ejim hit a jumper and Kayleigh Truong had a 3-pointer and the lead didn’t dip below nine.