BYU basketball comes home winless from WCC tournament

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BYU men’s and women’s basketball combined for an 0-2 record at the 2020 WCC tournament despite having received the higher ranking in both games. The No. 3 seeded women’s basketball team succumbed 62- 51 to the No. 6 seeded Pepperdine Waves in the quarterfinal of the WCC tournament — Pepperdine would go on to lose 59-44 in the WCC semifinal to the University of San Diego — while the No. 2 seeded men’s team lost 51-50 to No. 3 seeded Saint Mary’s.

Both teams looked to their seniors during their quarterfinal and semifinal losses, but they were seemingly nowhere to be found.

Seniors Brenna Chase Drollinger, Jasmine Moody, Khaedin Taito and Shalae Salmon combined for just 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 68 minutes of playing time during their loss to Pepperdine. The Cougars scored 16 points less than the 60.2 points they averaged during WCC regular-season play. BYU finished dead last in the WCC during the regular season in points per game.

Shalae Salmon gets guarded by a pair of Waves defenders during a game that was played at the Marriott Center during the 2019-20 season. (Preston Crawley)

In 131 combined minutes of playing time, seniors Jake Toolson, Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Zac Seljaas combined for just 42 points — 16 points less than their combined average during the regular season. The group of seniors also turned the ball over 14 times, twice more than the entire Saint Mary’s team, while only tallying five assists between the four of them. Haws’ five points marked a season-low for him, while Seljaas’ three points were the least he’s scored in a game where he’s played more than 25 minutes.

Toolson’s single assist marked just the fifth time this season that he’s recorded one or less assist in a game, and he and Childs tied their season-highs with five turnovers apiece. Head coach Mark Pope also saw negative stats written under his name after the referee issued a technical foul to coach Pope that resulted in two successful free throws and possession to Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s bested BYU on the scoreboard and on the stats sheet, earning more rebounds, blocks and steals while tallying less turnovers.

The women’s team saw its season end when the final horn sounded to mark the end of their game against Pepperdine, while the men’s team will have at least one more opportunity to avenge themselves when the NCAA tournament rolls around on March 19. It won’t be until Sunday, March 15, that the BYU men’s basketball team will know it’s destination as Selection Sunday is slated to begin at 4 p.m. MST.

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