No. 16 BYU Women Lock Down San Diego For Another Blowout Victory

Jan 24, 2022, 7:54 PM
BYU Women's Basketball - Paisley Harding...
BYU Women's Basketball guard Paisley Harding drives to the hoop during a game against the San Diego Toreros on January 24, 2022. (BYU Photo)
(BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – No. 16 BYU Women’s Basketball remains unbeaten in West Coast Conference play this season. BYU dominates their WCC foes the same way the Gonzaga Bulldogs do on the men’s side as they roll to a 70-48 win over San Diego.

Jeff Judkins’ team has won all six of their conference games by double figures this season.

This was the second consecutive game against San Diego. The back-to-back contests against the Toreros were due to the initial meeting in Provo earlier this month being postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the USD program. The postponement led to a Monday evening tilt at the Marriott Center.

BYU guard Shaylee Gonzales led the way for the Cougars, scoring a game-high 20 points. Paisley Harding chipped in 16 and Lauren Gustin scored 10 as BYU locks up another win to try in their hopes of eventually earning an NCAA Tournament seed that allows them to host tournament games in Provo.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter recap of BYU’s win over the Toreros.

First Quarter offense took some time for BYU Women’s Basketball

The offenses were optional for both teams in the opening minutes. At the first media timeout, BYU and USD were a combined 2-of-11 from the field. However, BYU started to get warmed up behind six points from Shaylee Gonzales in the opening frame.

BYU built a 12-2 lead before the Toreros cut the deficit to six as they got a lift off the bench from 6-foot-4 freshman Harsimran Kaur, who gave BYU big Sara Hamson a difficult matchup.

BYU dominates in the paint in the Second Quarter

BYU forced six turnovers against the Toreros in the second quarter but only could score six points off those USD miscues. USD had no answers for BYU in the paint as the Cougars hit the post led by Lauren Gustin, who scored a team-high 10 points in the first half.

Gustin also was true to her All-American form on the defensive end of the floor, where she pulled down 44% of the defensive rebounds available in the first half.

The miscues didn’t avoid BYU altogether, as they coughed up the ball 11 times in the half.

Game officials made their presence felt in the second quarter calling nine fouls between the two teams.

BYU super senior guard Paisley Harding knocked down a layup at the rim as the time expired to extend BYU’s lead to 35-19 at the break.

Big run to start the Third Quarter

BYU jumped out to a 10-0 run early in the third quarter to build their lead up to 24 points. But it wasn’t completely smooth sailing for the nationally-ranked Cougars as they had seven turnovers in the quarter.

BYU overcame the turnovers due to their 50% shooting from the field in the quarter. Six players for BYU scored in the quarter, including a buzzer-beater three from freshman Nani Falatea after a pair of missed free throws from Lauren Gustin.

An opportunity for the reserves to play again in the Fourth

The total turnovers in the game between the two teams exceeded 40 as BYU reached 22 giveaways for the game, while USD had 20. With 3:30 left, BYU took their starters out and let the freshmen get some playing time as the game’s outcome was no longer in question.

BYU Women’s Basketball Tip-ins

  • BYU football players Jacob Conover, Kaleb Hayes, and Keenan Ellis were at the game. Hayes was vibing to some Cascada during the break in between the third and fourth quarters.
  • BYU coach Jeff Judkins said it was a challenge to face a team twice in back-to-back games. It was easier for coaches but more challenging for his players.
  • Judkins was open to the Monday night home game because he wanted his team to get used to the NCAA Tournament schedule. In Women’s College Basketball, the NCAA Tournament opening rounds take place on Saturday & Monday.

Next Up

BYU women’s basketball improves to 16-1 overall on the season and 6-0 in West Coast Conference play. The 16th ranked Cougars will next be in action on Thursday when they host the Santa Clara Broncos at the Marriott Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper. 

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