LAS VEGAS — BYU senior Kristen Riley, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, didn't have one of her better games offensively Monday in the WCC tournament championship game.
But fortunately for the Cougars, other less-heralded players stepped up and helped lead them to a decisive 78-66 win over Gonzaga.
Forward Dani Peterson recorded a double-double, pouring in a team-high 18 points and tracking down 12 rebounds, while center Jennifer Hamson came off the bench to score 17 points and record eight rebounds.
"Whatever Dani Peterson drank today, I'm going to make sure she drinks that for the next three games because she played the game of her life," said coach Jeff Judkins. "Jen was a force today. She got challenged and she came through."
Meanwhile, tournament MVP Haley Steed had 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and guard Kim Parker dished out a game-high 10 assists. Riley had almost as many fouls (4) as points (5), but she did pull down 10 rebounds.
"It's a team effort," said Judkins. "That's what this team has been about from Day 1. Nobody cares who gets the basket. Tonight it was Peterson's night. She's waited for this for a long, long time. To be able to play the kind of game that she played was great. That's why this team is so fun to coach. None of them care who gets the credit."
On Monday, Gonzaga couldn't keep up with BYU's depth and unselfish play.Comment on this story
"Our team, it doesn't matter who scores the points," Peterson said. "You can't guard us. It's not like we have one person you have to shut down. Our whole bench is so good. Tonight was just my night. I got the ball in great position thanks to our guards driving and kicking it. It was a team effort, but it does feel good to finally play a great game to win a championship."
"Our team played together today. I'm so proud of everybody," Steed said. "I can think of a big play that every single person that played today made. Dani played the best game I've ever seen her play. Jen gave us a huge inside presence."
GAME NOTES: Announced attendance was 2,941. … Steed was named the MVP of the tournament. The All-Tournament team also featured Hamson, Peterson, and Gonzaga's Kayla Standish and Haiden Palmer.