San Francisco put BYU on the bubble of the womens NCAA Tournament now Cougars need a WCC win

Its all or nothing. . . Or so, thats how it seems. . . When the Cougars closed out the regular season with a loss at San Francisco, it put them on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament making the West Coast Conference that much more important. . . Second-seeded BYU earned byes through the first, second and third round and will make its WCC Tournament debut in Mondays semifinal in a rematch with No. 3 San Francisco. . . Long-time BYU coach Jeff Judkins said his team wasnt happy with their performance in their last game, but he didnt know the reason behind the loss. Simply put, the Cougars didnt play as mentally or physically strong as they needed to. . . I just think we deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament, even by losing a game to San Francisco on the road, Judkins said. . . . Does that mean we go and lose the first game of this tournament and get in? No. But I think if we win at least one game and get in the finals, we should be going. . . However, the Cougars know merely getting to the WCC championship game may not be enough. The only way to secure their way into the NCAA tourney will be by winning the WCC Tournament. . . Last year, the Cougars were upset in the third round of the league tourney and were completely left out of the NCAA Tournament although the pandemic ended up canceling that altogether. . . So, with BYUs continued postseason dreams in jeopardy, the Cougars dont want a repeat of what happened last year. . . We know that if we want to go into the NCAA Tournament, we need to win Mondays game and then win the conference tournament, WCC Co-Player of the Year Shaylee Gonzales said. . . While the Cougars will have gone more than a week without any action by the time they play Monday, the break in action will have served the team some much needed rest time. . . In mid-February, Gonzales, whos leading the team with 17. 6 points per game, sprained an ACL, which shes still nursing. And shes not the only one beaten up Judkins said pretty much his whole team is. . . So, we gave them a couple of days off to rest their bodies and get treatment, Judkins said. . . Two years ago, BYU star Paisley Harding felt snubbed by league officials for not earning WCC Player of the Year honors. Alongside Gonzales, Harding led the Cougars to a WCC title and back to the NCAA Tournament. . . This year, Harding said the motivation isnt as individualized as it was previously. But, if any player does feel like they have something to prove, theyll just have to go out on the court and do the same theyve done all season. . . I think one thing that will help us to continue to win this season and have a good rest of our season it to look outward more and recognize where we have come from, because of who we are as individuals, Harding said. I think, and Im pretty sure, as long as we play how we have played all season, well come out on top here at the WCC Tournament. And I think thats anything any of us could ask for.

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