BYU Open Women’s WCC Tourney With Blowout Win Over Pepperdine
BYU women’s basketball advances in the 2023 West Coast Conference Tournament. The five-seed Cougars took down nine-seed Pepperdine 74-59.
WIN. 💪 pic.twitter.com/Cs8B0W4roq
— BYU Women's Hoops (@byuwbb) March 3, 2023
It was a revenge game as the Waves upset BYU in their last meeting against each other in the regular season.
BYU’s All-WCC first-team players in Nani Falatea and Lauren Gustin led the way, scoring 23 points each to put them forward to the next round.
Gustin tied a WCC Tournament game record for most rebounds by a player with 18 in the win.
BYU will play four-seed San Francisco at 2 p.m. (MT) Saturday on BYUtv.
Pepperdine made a concerted effort to go at BYU star Lauren Gustin early in the game. The Waves drew a foul within the first minute of action on action.
Gustin nearly picked up a second foul minutes later but was able to play all 10 minutes in the first quarter without picking up another foul. Unfortunately, fellow frontcourt player Emma Calvert wasn’t as lucky. She picked up two early fouls.
BYU held an early 16-10 lead after the first quarter. All-WCC First Team guard Nani Falatea buried a long-distance three as time expired to give BYU the six-point lead.
BYU opened up the second quarter with an 8-2 run forcing Pepperdine coach Brian Rosario to call a timeout. However, WCC first-teamer Lauren Gustin began to come alive on the offensive end, scoring six of those eight points.
Shortly after the timeout, Gustin picked up her second personal foul—a rare situation for her to be in foul trouble. To relieve Gustin, Emma Calvert returned to action. But then, moments later, she picked up her third foul.
After Calvert’s third, BYU coach Amber Whiting turned to sophomore Heather Hamson in the post.
Pepperdine trimmed BYU’s 12-point lead to seven at the 4:35 mark. Whiting then inserted Gustin back into the game.
BYU maintained that seven-point lead for the final 4:35 as they went into the halftime break with a 34-27 lead.
Nani Falatea led the way in scoring for BYU at the break with 12 points. Gustin added eight points to go along with six rebounds.
BYU finished the first half without a field goal for the final 2:30 of action. Defensively, they tightened up, holding the Waves to only 38% shooting from the field in the first half and 14% from three.
BYU closed the quarter on a 15-2 run to build up a game-high 20 points. Falatea and Gustin combined for 16 of BYU’s 24 points in the quarter.
Anotha one👌 @byuwbb | #WCCHoops | 📺: https://t.co/oMD95YygYk pic.twitter.com/xOCjBVIEG2
— WCC Basketball (@WCChoops) March 3, 2023
The Cougars led 58-40 heading into the final quarter.
Pepperdine didn’t roll over; they cut BYU’s lead to eight. But time was against the Waves as BYU then went to the foul line and finished the game off with a 15-point victory.
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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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