BYU point guard Haley Steed is one of the smallest impact players in NCAA Division I basketball, so imagine how tiring it was for Steed to have Gonzaga’s Jazmine Redmon attached at her hip for two hours Saturday afternoon.
Redmon, the Defensive Player of the Year in the West Coast Conference, hounded Steed unmercifully to key Gonzaga’s 63-43 victory in the WCC tournament semifinals at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
“She’s just relentless,” Steed said. “She’s just on you the whole game, and that gets tiring.”
The top-seeded Bulldogs (26-5) carry a 14-game winning streak into Monday’s 1 p.m. championship game against No. 2 seed San Diego (21-8) on ESPNU.
Redmon scored just four points on 1-for-9 shooting against No. 4 seed BYU (21-10). However, the Spokane native had a game-high five assists and limited Steed to eight points and three assists.
Gonzaga scoring leader Haiden Palmer also made up for her poor shooting (4-for-13 for nine points) with great defense (five steals).
“Defensively, we were terrific,” Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said.
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Taber Spani scored a career-best 33 points for No. 9 Tennessee (24-7), but the Volunteers’ bid for a fourth straight SEC tournament championship ended with 66-62 loss to No. 19 Texas A&M (23-9) in the semifinals in Duluth, Ga. Spani is a granddaughter of former PLU football coach Frosty Westering and her dad is Gary Spani, a College Football Hall of Fame linebacker from Kansas State. Jasmine Thomas scored 19 points to lead Michigan State (24-7) over No. 8 Penn State (25-5) in the Big Ten tournament semifinals in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Latifah Coleman scored a career-high 17 points and No. 15 North Carolina (28-5) beat No. 10 Maryland (24-7), 72-65, to reach the ACC tournament finals in Greensboro, N.C.New Tribune wire services contributed to this report