Peterson lifts BYU to 1st WCC title 78-66

LYNN DeBRUIN AP Sports Writer Published:

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Dani Peterson scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help Brigham Young beat three-time defending champion Gonzaga 78-66 for the West Coast Conference tournament title on Monday.

The Cougars (26-6) won their first WCC tournament after 12 years in the Mountain West Conference. The victory earned them an automatic bid for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2007.

BYU led 36-35 at halftime after trailing by as many as eight early. The Cougars shot 71.4 percent in the first half and 60.4 percent overall.

Sophomore Haiden Palmer led Gonzaga (26-5) with a career-high 28 points. Kayla Standish added 18.

Tournament MVP Haley Steed and reserve Jennifer Hamson had 17 points apiece for BYU, which outrebounded the Bulldogs 36-21.