PROVO — In today's nationally televised regular-season finale for the BYU women's basketball team, the Cougars have several tasks at hand — to finish the regular season with a .500 record, to solidify their fifth-place standing going into next week's Mountain West Conference tournament, to snap a three-loss skid while slowing down a red-hot TCU team and to send off a trio of graduating seniors in style.
Whew — a pretty tall order for a BYU that has struggled to score with much consistency this season, especially going up against a run-and-gun foe like the Horned Frogs.
Tip-off between BYU (13-14 overall, 7-8 MWC) and TCU (19-10, 12-3 MWC) is 5:30 p.m. at the Marriott Center, with the game being broadcast by CSTV.
With a win, BYU would even both its overall and league records and take a No. 5 seed into the Mountain West tournament. A loss and the Cougars, who have lost five of their last six outings, finish with a losing conference mark for only the second time in their MWC tenure.
BYU fell 73-54 to TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, last month.
TCU, which has won nine of its last 10 games, has lost only three times in league play — both meetings with conference champion Utah and a mid-January loss at then-ranked Wyoming. The Frogs, whose last three wins have been by at least 30 points, are receiving votes in the national coaches poll.
Today's contest will be the final Marriott Center appearance for three Cougar seniors — guard Mallary Gillespie-Carling, center Lauren Riley-Varley and forward Ashley Cheesman.
Carling is second on BYU's all-time 3-point list, with her 58 treys this year giving her 240 to date. She's also among the program's top 15 career scorers with 1,351 points, including 365 this season.
She is this season's team leader in minutes, field goals, 3-pointers and free throws and second in assists and steals.
Varley leads the league in rebounding, averaging 8.8 boards a game, and is averaging 7.2 points a game.
Cheesman, who like Carling is a product of Orem's Mountain View High, started her collegiate career at San Diego State. Averaging 2.7 points a game, she has made greater offensive and defensive contributions for the Cougars in the second half of the season.
TCU (19-10, 12-3 MWC) at BYU (13-14, 7-8 MWC)
Today, 5:30 p.m.
Radio: 96.7 FM