BYU’s Lauren Gustin Earns WCC Defensive Player Of The Year

Mar 1, 2023, 12:55 PM

PROVO, Utah – The honors continue to roll in for BYU women’s basketball star Lauren Gustin.

On Wednesday, the WCC announced Gustin was the Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season. Gustin earned the honor along with Ayanna Khalfani from San Diego.

The 6-foot-1 Gustin has been the star for BYU this season in year one under head coach Amber Whiting. Gustin, a relentless defender and rebounder set BYU’s single-season record for rebounds earlier this week.

To go along with her 478 rebounds on the season, Gustin also had 21 steals and 16 blocks on the year.

Lauren Gustin led BYU Women’s Basketball in 2022-23

For the season, the Salem, Utah native averages 16.2 points and 16.4 rebounds per game. Her 16.4 rebounds per game are number one nationally this season. The only player close to that mark is LSU’s Angel Reese, with 16.0 per game.

“Lauren is an amazing player and an even better person,” said BYU head coach Amber Whiting. “She gives everything she has each time she steps on the court and has a motor that won’t quit. She is a great example of what happens when you work hard.”

Besides being named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the WCC, Gustin also earned All-WCC First Team recognition.

Nani Falatea, Amanda Barcello earn All-WCC honors

Gustin wasn’t the only BYU player named to the 10-woman first team. The other was sophomore guard Nani Falatea.

Falatea started in all 29 games on the guard line for BYU this season, averaging 14.7 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds.

The former East High School star scored a career-high 27 points on the road against Pacific on January 28.

“Nani [Falatea] is such a smooth, skilled player,” said Whiting. “She is a talented playmaker that contributes to our team in many ways, including her ability to score and the way she can create for her teammates.”

BYU had three players earn All-WCC recognition for the 2022-23 season. The third player was redshirt freshman Amanda Barcello. Barcello started in seven games and averaged 2.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game.

A native of Chandler, Arizona, Barcello is the younger sister to former BYU men’s basketball star Alex Barcello.

Lauren Gustin among 2022-23 WCC Women’s Basketball Honors

Coach of the Year: Lisa Fortier, Gonzaga

Player of the Year: Kaylynne Truong, Gonzaga

Newcomer of the Year: Tess Heal, Santa Clara

Co-Defensive Player of the Year: Lauren Gustin, BYU & Ayanna Khalfani, San Diego

Sixth Woman of the Year: Jasmine Gayles, San Francisco

All-WCC Women’s First Team

Ali Bamberger, Saint Mary’s

Yvonne Ejim, Gonzaga

Nani Falatea, BYU

Alex Fowler, Portland

Lauren Gustin, BYU

Tess Heal, Santa Clara

Ioanna Krimili, San Francisco

Brynna Maxwell, Gonzaga

Liz Smith, Pacific

Kaylynne Truong, Gonzaga

Second Team

Maisie Burnham, Portland

Kennedy Dickie, San Francisco

Ayanna Khalfani, San Diego

Kiera Oakry, San Diego

Taycee Wedin, Saint Mary’s

Freshman Team

Amanda Barcello, BYU

Tess Heal, Santa Clara

Marya Hudgins, Santa Clara

Veronica Sheffey, San Diego

Calli Stokes, Gonzaga

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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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU’s Lauren Gustin Earns WCC Defensive Player Of The Year