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BYU Women’s Hoops Pulls Off Upset Over No. 6 Rutgers With Fourth Quarter Surge

Mar 22, 2021, 12:17 PM | Updated: 5:34 pm
Shaylee Gonzales - BYU vs. Rutgers - 2021 NCAA Women's Tournament...
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The BYU women’s basketball team pulled off the upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 69-66 win over Rutgers.

BYU received the No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament and was able to get the upset over No. 6 Rutgers. The Cougars needed a big fourth quarter and they did just that, outscoring the Scarlet Knights 26-16 in the final period.

Paisley Harding led BYU with 28 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the three-point line. Shaylee Gonzales added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Lauren Gustin was the third Cougar to reach double figures with 10 points.

Arella Guirantes led Rutgers with 30 points.

Both teams looked like they were getting the jitters out as they combined for nine turnovers in the first six minutes of the game. They settled in after as BYU took a 10-9 lead late in the first quarter. Rutgers knocked down a free throw to tie the game with 20 seconds left in the opening period and then stole the inbounds pass and converted a layup to take a 12-10 lead at the end of the quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Paisley Harding banked in a three-pointer to tie the game, stopping the Scarlet Knights’ momentum. Harding was up to 10 points to that point. After a bucket by Shaylee Gonzales and a pair of free throws from Harding, BYU was on a 9-1 run and held a 22-19 lead before Rutgers made on free throw.

By the media timeout in the second quarter, BYU had 12 of their 24 points coming off of Rutgers turnovers. The Cougars were hampered by turnovers down the stretch of the second quarter and Rutgers ended the half on a 10-0 run and was ahead 30-24.

It was a very even third quarter as Rutgers was up by eight in the early portion before BYU battled back. Rutgers outscored the Cougars 20-19 and took a 50-43 lead into the fourth quarter. BYU trailed by nine points when Harding was able to get an and-one, trimming the deficit to six after making the free throw.

BYU then went on a 6-0 run and pulled within three points with seven minutes remaining in the game. Harding knocked down a pair of free throws to pull within one before Gustin made a bucket off of an offensive rebound. The Cougars had a 55-54 lead with 4:20 left. Both teams exchanged three-pointers with one minute left and BYU was still up by one.

With three seconds on the shot clock, Rutgers fouled Shaylee Gonzales on a three-point attempt. She made all three free throws and put the Cougars up 65-61 with 30 seconds left.

BYU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They will face the winner of No. 3 Arizona and No. 14 Stony Brook on Wednesday, March 24.

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