Champions! Women’s Basketball Team Wins WCC Tournament
USF’s women’s basketball squad won the West Coast Conference tournament championship this season, and returned to post-season NCAA Tournament play for the first time in almost 20 years.
The Dons were tenacious in the conference tournament final, coming from 15 points back to beat No. 1-seeded Brigham Young University (BYU). The Dons took their first lead of the game on free throws by all-tournament team selection Zhane Dikes ’16 with 17 seconds left in the game. Then Dikes stole the ball as BYU advanced, sealing the win. The Dons won 70 to 68.
“Wow. What a game,” said Head Coach Jennifer Azzi, afterward. “Our team fought so hard again tonight. In all three games of this tournament they put their heart and soul into it, and obviously BYU is an incredible program and amazing team.” Forward Taylor Proctor ’16 engineered her 11th double-double of the season, contributing a game high 27 points with 10 rebounds. She was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
“It’s an incredible feeling. I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Proctor said after the game. “I’m seriously speechless.”
“My best word to describe the team would be relentless,” Dikes said.
To get to BYU, the sixth-seeded Dons rolled past second seed St. Mary’s University and third seed University of San Diego, becoming the lowest-seeded team in history to ever win the title.
The win put the Dons in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 19 years. They lost in the first round to Stanford University, Azzi’s alma mater. The Dons’ record was 21-12 overall.
“I’m so proud of my two seniors, Z and Taylor,” Azzi said. “They came to USF when USF had won five games, so they took a program from that to the NCAA Tournament and I couldn’t be more proud of them and of our team and our program having won our conference tournament and getting this great opportunity to be in the NCAA Tournament this year.”