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BYU drops season opener 82-62 at Colorado State
FORT COLLINS – A second-half surge by Colorado State beat the BYU women’s basketball team 82-62 in the 2022-23 season opener in Fort Collins on Tuesday.
"Hats off to Colorado State for putting us on our heels in the second half," BYU head coach Amber Whiting said. "They are a great shooting team and demonstrated that tonight. We’re going to focus on the positives tonight and look to build on those."
Sophomore guard Arielle Mackey-Williams set career marks with 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting, including 4 of 7 from downtown. With 16 of her 18 coming in the first half, it wasn’t enough to slow a Colorado State team that got red-hot in the second half.
The Rams shot 56.3 percent in the second half, including making 8 of 12 from the 3-point line to outscore the Cougars 47-23 in the final 20 minutes of action. BYU shot just 25.9 percent in the second half and managed only one made three after hitting six in the first half.
Colorado State finished 31 of 61 from the field for the game and 11 of 23 for 47.8 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars ended the game shooting 33.9 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from three.
In addition to Mackey-Williams, Nani Falatea had 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists while Lauren Gustin added 12 points and 13 rebounds, her first double-double of the season and 30th of her career. Emma Calvert chipped in 11 points, giving BYU four players in double figures.
"I thought Ari have us great production tonight and Lauren was tough inside as well," Whiting said. "I saw some flashes from Emma and Nani in the second half of how they can help us this season. We’ll build on that and get ready for Montana State on Saturday.”
BYU built a 15-12 advantage with 2:48 left in the first quarter thanks to a pair of Mackey-Williams triples.
Falatea broke up a near five-minute scoring drought with a made three with under 20 seconds to go in the first quarter. Colorado State drilled a buzzer-beating trey before the end of the quarter to make it a one-point game at 18-17.
Mackey-Williams hit another three to open the second quarter. She hit her fourth of the game a minute later to keep BYU in front 24-20 with under eight minutes until halftime.
After Colorado State got two free throws to go, it was a 33-32 lead for BYU with two minutes left before halftime. Mackey-Williams missed a three but got her own rebound and was fouled, putting in both freebies for a 35-32 edge.
Mackey-Williams added another mid-range jumper to her first-half total in the last 15 seconds and BYU took a 39-35 advantage into halftime. She led all scorers with 16 points on 5 of 8 shooting, including 4 of 6 from distance.
Colorado State got hot out of halftime, outscoring the Cougars 28-13 thanks to 11 of 16 shooting from the field to take a 63-52 lead at the end of three quarters.
BYU managed just 4 of 11 shooting and cooled off from behind the arc, making just 1 of 5 to start the second half.
The Rams hit back-to-back threes to open the fourth quarter to put the Cougars in a 69-52 deficit, using the same recipe after halftime to continue to build their lead.
The hole got deeper for BYU as the lead ballooned to more than 20 thanks to eight made threes and kept the Cougars without a field goal for more than two minutes down the stretch.
The Rams went on to win 82-62 after controlling the second half.
Up next, BYU hosts Montana State at the Marriott Center on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed on the BYUtv App and BYUtv.org.
BYU women's basketball opens 2022-23 on the road at Colorado State
PROVO, Utah – BYU women's basketball opens the 2022-23 regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. MT on the road at Colorado State. The game will be streamed on the Mountain West Network.
First-year head coach Amber Whiting makes her official debut at the helm of the program after 21-year head coach Jeff Judkins retired following a historic run leading the Cougars. BYU went 26-4 last season, clinched a regular-season West Coast Conference championship and earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Rams of Colorado State finished 21-12 overall last season with a 9-9 mark in the Mountain West. The Cougars and Colorado State have matched up 79 times in history, spending decades together in the same conferences over the years. BYU has a 55-24 record against the Rams, with the Cougars winning the last matchup, 51-42 in Provo in 2018.
Stream: Mountain West Network
On Twitter: @BYUwbb
- NEW ERA. BYU is had a new head coach for the first time in 21 seasons after the retirement of Jeff Judkins. Judkins, the winningest coach in school history (455 wins) paved the way for first-time head coach Amber Whiting, a Cougar alum to take the rains in 2022-23. BYU is will also need to replace the WCC Player of the Year (Shaylee Gonzales), another All-WCC First Team selection (Paisley Harding) and an All-WCC Honorable Mention (Tegan Graham). The Cougars are also replacing point guard Maria Albiero who was tied with Paisley Harding for the most played games in school history.
- WCC REGULAR-SEASON CHAMPS. BYU won its fifth regular-season conference title under head coach Jeff Judkins with a 15-1 record in league play. The last time the program won back-to-back regular-season titles was during the 05-06 and 06-07 campaigns.
- FINAL YEAR IN THE WCC. This the Cougars’ last year in the West Coast Conference before a move to the Big 12 Conference for the 2023-24 season. BYU was picked to finish third in the league in the preseason coaches poll.
- WINNERS. BYU won 25 games in the regular season last year, the most ever in the history of the program. The Cougars had previously won 24 games three different times, all coming under head coach Jeff Judkins (11-12, 13-14, 15-16).
- RETURNERS. BYU returns one of the nations’ top rebounders, All-WCC First Team selection Lauren Gustin in 2022-23. Gustin was a finalist for the Katrina McClain Award last year, averaging a double-double at 10.7 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. The Cougars also return one of the squads deadliest 3-point shooters in Nani Falatea who hit 50 percent of her treys last season (21 of 42) to set a school record.