Dance Card: BYU, West Coast

Who? The Cougars of Brigham Young University.

What? It started with a pair of fifty-cent cougar cubs in 1924, then became Cosmo, short for cosmopolitan, and yes, I do find it amusing that a Mormon school's mascot shares its name with a cocktail.

Where? Provo, Utah, originally called Fort Utah.

When? March 5th, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Why? They won the West Coast Conference tournament.

How? BYU broke open a one-point lead at the half to beat top-seeded Gonzaga 78-66. Dani Peterson led three Cougars in double figures with 18 points and added 12 rebounds as BYU shot 60.4% for the game.

Surprise? They were expected to finish second and they finished second. A minor upset, but not a major one, especially given the change in conferences.

RPI (as of 3/5): 43

SOS (as of 3/5): 132

Record: 26-6 (12-4 West Coast)

Good wins: Syracuse in Hawai'i, and beating Gonzaga on a neutral court by 12 is probably better than throttling them by 30 in Provo.

Bad losses: San Francisco

Who's running this show? Jeff Judkins, since 2001. He's a Utah alum. Surprised that's working out for him.

Extra, Extra! The Daily Herald. Might get something from the Salt Lake Tribune, too.


The statistical leader of this team looks to be senior forward Kristen Riley, who averages 11.4 points and eight rebounds per game, but the engine is point guard Haley Steed, who dishes over seven assists per game and snags more than two steals. Steed makes sure that they share the ball well and set each other up- 618 assists on 843 field goals looks like a pretty good number to me.


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