Weekend sports roundup: BYU basketball advances in WCC Tournament; UVU secures No. 2 seed in WAC Tournament

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BYU junior Elijah Bryant led the BYU offense in its 85–79 win over San Diego in the first round of the WCC Tournament. Bryant scored 27 points in the win. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

If you were as busy as the Cougars and Wolverines were this weekend, chances are you didn’t get to watch all of the games. Here’s a quick recap of how it all went down.

BYU earns redemption against San Diego in WCC Tournament

After losing to San Diego just two weeks ago, BYU basketball earned redemption against San Diego in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

The Cougars beat the Toreros 85–79 in Las Vegas, advancing to the semifinals.

“They played a great game of togetherness and toughness today,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “They did a great job of fighting mentally and executing down the stretch. These guys are engaged and they want it and I’m proud of them.”

When the two teams met in San Diego during conference play, the Cougars struggled against the Toreros’ physical defense. This time around BYU ensured it came out playing aggressively, which showed in a total of 64 free throws shots between the two teams. In fact, three total players fouled of the game, including two Cougars: BYU junior Elijah Bryant and BYU sophomore TJ Haws.

“Coach gave us a lot of drills to help us prepare to finish through the physicality even if we didn’t get the foul called and that is how we prepared,” said Bryant, who led the Cougars in scoring with 27 points.

BYU sophomore Yoeli Childs contributed 22 points and 8 rebounds. Haws added 13 points.

BYU advances to the semifinals against No. 22 Saint Mary’s on Monday, March 5. The game, which will be broadcast on ESPN2, begins at 9:30 p.m. MST.

UVU basketball secures No. 2 seed in WAC Tournament

UVU basketball closed out regular season play with a 73–47 win over Seattle U on Saturday at the UCCU Center. The win earned UVU (29–9, 10–4) the No. 2 seed in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament behind New Mexico State.

“This was a great game for our guys. We’re really proud of our home record this season and it’s something very special to us,” said UVU head coach Mark Pope. “We’ve done some great things this season but now it all comes down to winning three games in Las Vegas. Our team is really confident after securing second place, and now we’ll see if we can with three in a row on a neutral floor.”

The Wolverines game-winning performance included a 50 percent shooting from the field. UVU junior Conner Toolson led the team in scoring with 17 points and six rebounds. UVU junior Kenneth Ogbe contributed 13 points and six rebounds.

UVU will play No. 6 CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m. MST in Las Vegas. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

UVU women’s basketball falls in final game of season

UVU women’s basketball team ended its season with a 83–53 loss to Seattle U on Saturday. The Wolverines closed regular season play with a 5–9 conference record and 11–18 overall record, which lands the team as the No. 6 seed going into the WAC Tournament.

In Saturday afternoon’s game, Seattle U’s Alexis Montgomery proved too much for the Wolverine defense. Montgomery earned a triple-double en route to defeating UVU.

UVU was led by senior Taylor Christensen and sophomore Jordan Holland with 13 points apiece. UVU guards Britta Spencer and Mariah Seals each contributed nine points.

On Wednesday, March 7, the Wolverines will open the WAC Tournament with a game against No. 3 Grand Canyon at 1 p.m. MST.

BYU men’s volleyball sweeps UCLA

No. 5 BYU men’s volleyball swept No. 3 UCLA (25–23, 25–21, 25–20) on Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.

“This is exciting. I’m happy for our guys,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We came out playing with confidence and did a good job of limiting our errors and capitalizing on a few UCLA mistakes.”

BYU freshman Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the offense with 12 kills. BYU sophomore Cyrus Fa’alogo contributed 11 kills and six digs while BYU senior Brenden Sander added 10 kills. BYU setter Leo Durkin ended the night with 37 assists.

The Cougars next travel to Honolulu, Hawai’i to compete in the Outrigger Resorts Invitational from Mar. 8-10. The first match will be against Penn State on Thursday, Mar. 8, at 4 p.m. HST.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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