Juniors Kaylynne (49) and Kayleigh Truong (37) had combined for 86 threes for the Gonzaga Bulldogs entering their WCC Tournament championship game against the No. 15 BYU Cougars Tuesday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The twin sisters delivered in the clutch for a second-seeded Bulldog team that seemed to have top-seed BYU’s number from the start en route to a 71-59 victory.
Up just three with 8:23 to play, Gonzaga (26-6, 15-2 WCC) received a mid-range make from Melody Kempton, followed by a Kempton inside bucket to go up seven. Then, Kaylynne made her second three of the fourth to make it a 10-point game in favor of the Bulldogs.
BYU (26-3, 15-1 WCC) would cut it to seven again on a Tegan Graham three, but Kaylynne really took away the Cougars’ energy with that shot. With 3:48 to go, Kayleigh had a wide-open, non-desperation look at a three and, surprisingly, didn’t bury the shot in the conventional way, instead banking it in to give Gonzaga a 58-46 lead.
The Bulldogs led by at least nine the rest of the way. Kayleigh finished with 12 points and four assists, while Kaylynne had 14 points. Kempton was the team's high scorer with 15.
Gonzaga led 29-21 at the break and opened the third with a trey from Abby O’Connor to push its lead to 11. The Bulldogs alternated 11- and nine-point leads for a while until a Sara Hamson layup cut it to seven with 3:24 to go in the frame. WCC Player of the Year Shaylee Gonzales then cut it to five with a spinning layup at five seconds remaining before the fourth.
A Harding steal early in the fourth led to a Gustin floater that cut it to three. The Cougars cut it to three again on a Hamson 3-point play with 8:23 to play, but that’s when Gonzaga went on a 7-0 run, capped by Kaylynne’s key three.
Gonzaga used an 8-0 run in the first to take a 16-8 lead and then went on a 11-4 run in the second to go up 27-19. The 11-4 run featured a three from Cierra Walker.
Gonzales notched a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double in defeat.
Gonzaga improves its resume greatly with the ranked win and may now be higher than it’s ESPN projection going in of an 11 seed. BYU will hope to not fall off the 5 line.