PROVO — BYU was able to hang with No. 6 Gonzaga for a half, but the Zags had their way with the Cougars in the second half. Gonzaga beat BYU 79-65 and clinched the regular-season WCC title at the Marriott Center on Saturday.
Turning point: The Cougars were behind by just two before Perkins hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the half. Then the second half started and the five-point lead ballooned to 13 at the 14:13 mark, and the Zags never looked back.
The hero: Josh Perkins. The hero could have been any one of Gonzaga's starting five plus sixth man Rui Hachimura. However, Perkins gets the nod with a stuffed stats sheet, including 14 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. He went 4 of 6 from behind the arc.
•Simply put, Gonzaga hit 55.4 percent of its shots from the field and BYU hit only 38.6 percent. That's the ballgame right there. • All five of Gonzaga's starters plus Hachimura on the bench scored double-digit points on the Cougars. Beating a team with this much balance is hard for any team to do. • Yoeli Childs and Elijah Bryant did what they could to keep BYU in this game with a combined 35 points, but they didn't get enough help as Jashire Hardnett had a hot start and then struggled with foul trouble and nobody else reached the double-digit mark.
BYU almanac: 22-8, 11-7 West Coast Conference, Lost 1
Tournament picture: The Cougars finish No. 3 in the WCC headed into the conference tournament
Saturday March 3 vs. San Diego (17-12) at the WCC Tournament in Los Vegas, 1 p.m.