LAS VEGAS — Brenna Chase scored 25 points, Shaylee Gonzales added 20 and Brigham Young beat No. 12 Gonzaga 82-68 on Tuesday to win its third West Coast Conference tournament title.

Coach Lisa Fortier rushed off the court in the fourth quarter. Officials later said Fortier left due to a family emergency. 

The second-seeded Cougars (25-6) handed Gonzaga its two WCC losses in two close regular-season meetings and tried turning the third game into a rout with a dominating second quarter.

BYU scored the first 16 points of the second to build 12-point lead and went up by 16 early in the third quarter.

The two-time defending tournament champion Bulldogs (28-4) rallied late in the third to pull within seven, but missed their first 12 shots of the fourth to end any chance of a three-peat.

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Zykera Rice led top-seeded Gonzaga with 25 points.

Paisley Johnson added 19 points, Sara Hamson blocked four shots and BYU went 13 for 25 from the 3-point arc to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016.

BYU won the two regular-season meetings, both by two points.

The Cougars rallied from a 12-point deficit to win 70-68 at home and Hamson blocked two shots in the final minutes in a 66-64 home win.

BYU beat Pepperdine 68-63 in the WCC Tournament semifinals and Gonzaga needed two overtimes to beat Saint Mary's, winning 78-77 on Rice's buzzer-beating shot.

Rice dominated early in round 3, scoring 10 points in the first quarter to help the Zags build a 23-19 lead.

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BYU took control by dominating defensively in the second quarter.

Gonzaga missed its first nine shots and went 1 for 11 in the period as the Cougars took a 42-30 lead into halftime.

BYU stretched the lead 55-39, but Gonzaga made a late run, pulling within 63-57 after BYU coach Jeff Judkins was called for a technical foul and Chandler Smith hit two free throws.

But the Cougars stretched the lead back to 12 early in the fourth and Gonzaga shot 2 for 15 in the quarter.


Lisa Fortier, the Gonzaga women's head coach, left the game in the fourth quarter after being pulled aside by Athletic Director Mike Roth, according to KREM Sports Director Brenna Greene. There was reportedly a family emergency that required Fortier to leave the game. 

The family did not want Fortier to know about the emergency until the game was over so she could coach the game, Greene said. The family later decided to tell her midway through the game. 

The family member's name was not released, but Greene confirmed Fortier's children are OK.


BYU used a dominating second quarter to sweep the season series and leave no doubt about its NCAA Tournament chances.

The Zags will make the NCAA Tournament, but will have a lower seed than if they had won the WCC Tournament.


Both teams should be headed to the NCAA Tournament.