Gonzales, BYU edge No. 22 West Virginia for St. Pete title

Nov 26, 2021, 10:26 PM | Updated: Nov 27, 2021, 12:27 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Shaylee Gonzales scored 20 points, including two free throws with three seconds left, and West Virginia made just one of two from the line with .4 seconds remaining, giving BYU a 58-57 win over the No. 22 Mountaineers in the championship game of the St. Pete Showcase on Saturday.

After Esmery Martinez of West Virginia tied the game with a layup with 57 seconds to play the Mountaineers had a chance to take the lead after a BYU turnover but they missed a shot. Gonzales was going for the game winner when Martinez fouled her.

With Kari Niblack going for the tie as time ran out, Tegan Graham fouled Niblack. Niblack made the first free throw, BYU called a timeout and Niblack missed the second shot. Martinez grabbed the rebound but couldn’t get off a winning attempt.

Paisley Harding added 13 points for BYU (7-0), which beat No. 17 Florida State in the tourney opener. Graham scored 11. BYU finished 9 of 11 from the line and was 23 of 28 in knocking off consecutive ranked opponents.

The Cougars were without head coach Jeff Judkins, who did not make the trip after testing positive for COVID-19. The rest of the travel party was tested and given approval to compete with assistant coach Lee Cumard assuming the head coaching position.

Martinez scored 18 points for the Mountaineers (4-1) and Kirsten Deans had 17.

West Virginia led 21-11 after one quarter and pushed the lead to 13 in the second. The Mountaineers led 37-29 at the half but took a 45-44 lead after three quarters.

Both teams committed 23 turnovers.

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Gonzales, BYU edge No. 22 West Virginia for St. Pete title