No. 19 BYU overpowers Montana State 89-67 on the road
BOZEMAN, Mont. – Three players scored in double figures to lead the No. 19 BYU women’s basketball team to an 89-67 win over Montana State on Tuesday night at Worthington Arena.
Shaylee Gonzales scored 21 with five rebounds, five assists and four steals, Lauren Gustin posted her fifth double-double of the year with 15 points and 18 rebounds and Tegan Graham added 10 points.
BYU finished 10-1 in non-conference play and will begin West Coast Conference games next week. The team was picked to win the league in the preseason poll among the WCC head coaches.
“We scheduled really hard this non-conference season," head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We played a lot of games on the road and a lot of tough games. It will help us prepare for the conference. I think it's been a really good effort. Tonight was different people stepping up. Every night it can be someone different. That’s what makes a good team."
An efficient Cougar team outscored the Bobcats 44-28 in the paint and scored 23 points off turnovers. BYU had 23 assists to just nine turnovers and shot 45 percent from the field.
BYU also got 29 points from its bench, including nine from freshman Arielle Mackey-Williams and eight from freshman Emma Calvert.
Kaylee Smiler entered the game midway through the first quarter to spark the team, hitting a three from the corner to take a 14-12 lead.
BYU pushed its lead to 22-15 in the first after a Gonzales steal and score on the other end with one minute left in the quarter.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Montana State pulled within one after three-pointer but the Cougars quickly answered with a three from Maria Albiero and a two from Gonzales to make it 27-21.
Fresh off the bench, Calvert came in and knocked down a three on the next possession followed by an Albiero drive to the basket and score, extending BYU’s lead to double digits at 34-23 with 4:48 left until halftime.
Gustin found Sara Hamson after a double-team for an easy layup at the end of the first half, sending the Cougars into the locker room with a 46-32 lead at the break.
BYU continued to build its lead in the second half, making it a 17-point advantage with another floater from Gonzales at the six-minute mark in the third quarter. A turnover, a saved ball by Smiler and dish to Hamson down low again made it 60-41 and forced a Bobcat timeout with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
Calvert hit another jumper off a second-chance rebound, giving BYU a 70-45 lead with 41 seconds left in the third.
In the fourth quarter, Mackey-Williams drained a triple with 6:30 left, Calvert added an offensive put-back on the next possession and Gonzales added one more, helping the Cougars score on three-straight possessions to make it 82-56 with 5:50 left in the game.
Mackey-Williams scored nine in the final frame, pushing the final score to 89-67.
BYU now turns its attention to WCC league play beginning with San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 30 in the Marriott Center at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on BYUtv.
BYU finishes non-conference season at Montana State
PROVO, Utah – The No. 19 BYU women's basketball team will close out its non-conference schedule at Montana State on Tuesday night in Bozeman, Montana. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.
- LAST GAME: BYU bounced back with a 71-53 win over Washington State in the Marriott Center. Paisley Harding had 20 points and Tegan Graham added 15.
- The Cougars moved up one spot in the AP Top 25 to No. 19. BYU is ranked for the fourth consecutive week for the first time since 2007.
- BYU is closing out its non-conference season with Montana State. A win would give the Cougars a 10-1 mark entering West Coast Conference play where they were picked to win the league.
- ESPN Women’s Basketball Bracketology has the Cougars projected as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament 68-team bracket.
About Montana State (7-5)
- The Bobcats are coming off a 76-49 win over Seattle. Montana State is off to a 7-5 start, finishing its non-conference schedule with BYU before beginning Big Sky play.
- Montana State is led by head coach Tricia Binford, in her 17th year. She has an overall head coaching record of 277-214.
- Junior guard Darian White leads the Bobcats in scoring with 15.4 points per game while junior forward Kola Bad Bear adds 9.4 points and 5.7 rebounds.