Cougars' huge 4th quarter downs Gonzaga - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougars' huge 4th quarter downs Gonzaga

Photo: Gonzaga Athletics Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

Gonzaga Athletics

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars used a 15-0 fourth-quarter run to beat Gonzaga in Provo, 71-63 on Saturday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both teams. GU led by six to start the fourth quarter, but could not recover from the run.

Kiara Kudron led the Zags in points and rebounds with 14 and nine, respectively. Zykera Rice scored 13 off the bench with six rebounds. Elle Tinkle had six points and eight rebounds, and Laura Stockton had seven points and four assists. GU shot 40 percent from the field and BYU shot 38 percent.

The Zags quickly erased a 4-0 BYU lead to go up 7-4 capped by a deep Barta three, as she scored all seven. GU extended that run to 11-3 and led 11-7 at the 4:46 mark. In the end, GU held BYU scoreless for three minutes and led 14-10 with three minutes left in the quarter. BYU made a push, briefly led, but GU led 18-17 after one quarter. Barta finished with seven points and Laura Stockton scored five.

BYU opened the second quarter with a three to regain the lead, but a three from Makenlee Williams got it back, 23-22. The teams traded baskets until the layup from BYU at the four-minute mark put them back ahead 30-29, but Zykera Rice came right back with a contested layup to regain the lead. The game maintained its back and forth pace before Jessie Loera found Kudron on the pick and slip on the final possession, and GU led 39-36 at the half. Kudron led all scorers at half with 10 points, and Barta and Stockton added seven each. Rice was huge off the bench with eight points and four rebounds. GU shot 49 percent from the field with 12 assists. They led on the glass 21-16, and blocked five shots to hold BYU to 39 percent shooting.

Both teams opened the second half a little cold from the field, with just six total points in the first five minutes, as GU still led 41-40. Williams and Rice broke that cold streak with a pick-and-roll three-point play at 3:18 for the 44-40 lead. On the next play, Chandler Smith stole the ball at midcourt and shoveled an underhand scoop pass to Tinkle in transition. The Zags held BYU scoreless for a six-and-a-half minute stretch and led 48-42 heading into the fourth quarter. Rice finished the quarter with 13 points, five in the stanza.

BYU started the fourth quarter on a 19-3 run through the first six minutes for their first lead of the half, 61-51. The Zags cut it to seven with 57 seconds left on two Tinkle free throws. Williams hit two threes, and finished with nine points, but GU got no closer than seven, and fell 71-63.

The Zags led in rebounds 36-35 and blocked seven shots, five swatted by Tinkle, a career high.

The Bulldogs (23-6, 14-4 WCC) will head to Las Vegas next Friday for the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament at 12 pm against the winner of the #8/#9 game. The game will be televised live on BYUTV and live links will be available at

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