USF women fall in WCC Tournament title game

John Locher/AP PhotoSan Francisco's Zhane Dikes

John Locher/AP PhotoSan Francisco's Zhane Dikes

LAS VEGAS — Lexi Eaton scored 22 points and Morgan Bailey added 20 as BYU beat San Francisco 76-65 on Tuesday to win the West Coast Conference tournament and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars (23-9), who finished fifth in the WCC, shot 51 percent from the floor — including 11 for 22 on 3-pointers — and never trailed after halftime. They scored 24 points on USF turnovers.

Makenzi Morrison scored 19 as she, Eaton and Bailey combined for 61 of BYU's 76 points. Eaton, who averaged 23.3 points in three games, was voted tournament MVP.

Taj Winston led USF (19-13) with 24 points.

The Cougars took control at the midway point of the first half with a 16-0 run that gave them a 33-20 lead in the final five minutes. San Francisco kept the game close until then, but the Dons missed on 10 consecutive shots, a drought that wasn't broken until Taylor Proctor scored on a short jumper.

San Francisco shot just 10 for 31 in the first half, a sharp contrast to BYU, which was 14 for 23 (61 percent) — including 8 for 11 on 3s.

The Cougars' backcourt of Eaton and Morrison combined to score 22 of BYU's 39 first-half points. All three of Morrison's baskets were 3s.

Both teams reached the championship game after pulling semifinal upsets Monday. BYU, the fifth seed, knocked off top-seeded Gonzaga, and No. 6 USF downed No. 2 San Diego.

___

TIP-INS

BYU: The Cougars were in the WCC title game for the second time. They also advanced in 2011, their first season in the WCC.

San Francisco: Dons coach Jennifer Azzi, who went 9-50 in her first two seasons at USF, got her team into the title game for the first time since 1997. Twenty-five seasons ago, Azzi helped lead Stanford to the women's national championship.

UP NEXT

BYU: NCAA Tournament.

BYUCollege SportsUSFWCC

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