Jenny Craig Pavilion
Jenny Craig Pavilion San Diego CA 92110
Comeback effort falls short in 52-49 loss at San Diego
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Despite coming back from an 11-point deficit to tie the game with under two minutes remaining, the BYU women’s basketball team came up on the losing end of 52-49 game against San Diego on Saturday afternoon.
“I love the fight that I saw from the team today when they could have given up,” BYU head coach Amber Whiting said. “It showed a lot of character for them to stay together but we need to get better from this loss. We didn’t hit any of our goals today and have to learn something from this one.”
The Cougars trailed 36-25 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and battled back to tie the game at 43-43 with 1:33 to go. They weren’t able to get in front in the end before time ran out on the comeback.
BYU (12-11, 7-5) outshot the Toreros (13-10, 7-5) 39.8-30.8 percent but were outrebounded 34-32 and gave up 20 points off of 19 turnovers.
Forward Lauren Gustin notched her 50th career double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds, leading the scoring effort for BYU. Nani Falatea added 13 and four assists and Kaylee Smiler added three 3-pointers for nine points.
A defensive battle started off with the Cougars scrapping their way to a 6-4 edge in the first five minutes.
Rose Bubakar hit a jumper, Falatea hit a three and Arielle Mackey-Williams made a layup to keep pace with San Diego and lead 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.
After falling behind in the second quarter, Falatea took it back at 19-18 with a driving right-handed layup with just over 5 minutes left until halftime. Bubakar added a midrange jumper and BYU led 21-18 with 3:21 remaining until the break.
The Cougars held on to a 21-20 advantage at halftime. BYU shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, made only one of three attempts from distance.
Out of the break, San Diego pulled ahead 28-25 midway through the third quarter. The Toreros used a 10-0 run to push their lead to 34-25 after three quarters. The Cougars managed just four points and shot 2 of 15 in the third quarter.
BYU started a rally in the fourth quarter with back-to-back buckets from Gustin in the first two minutes and Smiler added a trey and Gustin another layup just over a minute later to cut the deficit to 38-34.
After an intentional foul on San Diego, Falatea hit both free throws and possession went back to the Cougars. Mackey-Williams was fouled going driving to the basket and sank to more to make it a one-possession game with 4:20 remaining.
A Gustin layup with just over three minutes to go made it 41-40 as part of a 6-0 run.
After two freebies from San Diego, Smiler tied it with a three from the corner on an assist from Falatea with 1:33 to go.
San Diego’s Kiera Oakry drained a 3-pointer with 30 second left to take a 46-43 lead. After the Cougars didn’t get a great look and had to foul on the ensuing possession, the Toreros cashed in with two more free throws and again down the stretch.
BYU added another Smiler three in the last few seconds and one at the buzzer by Mackey-Williams but it wasn’t enough, eventually falling 52-49.
The Cougars return to Provo to play Pepperdine at the Marriott Center on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv, BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App.
BYU travels to San Diego for Saturday game
PROVO, Utah – BYU women's basketball is back in action Saturday at San Diego to take on the Toreros at 2 p.m. PT at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The game will be streamed on the WCC Network.
This week the West Coast Conference is honoring the life and legacy of San Francisco, WCC and NBA legend Bill Russell for his achievements as a Hall of Fame basketball player and as a pioneer for social justice during the first week of Black History Month. WCC men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes will wear special shirts honoring the life and legacy of Bill Russell during pregame activities for games on Feb. 2 and 4. Russell passed away on July 31, 2022.
BYU (12-10, 7-4) at San Diego (12-10, 6-5)
Saturday, Feb. 4
2 p.m. PST
Jenny Craig Pavilion
TV/Stream: WCC Network
On Twitter: @byuwbb
- SAN DIEGO (FEB 4). The Cougars are traveling to San Diego for the second game of the season series against the Toreros. BYU won the first matchup 63-49 in Provo in early January. San Diego is coming off of back-to-back wins on the road at Pacific and at Saint Mary’s and has the same overall record as the Cougars at 12-10. The Toreros have a 6-5 mark in WCC play.
- LAST GAME. BYU is looking to bounce back after suffering a 79-66 loss on the road to Pacific last Saturday. The Cougars did get a road win at Saint Mary’s earlier on the California trip.
- CONFERENCE PLAY. The Cougars are into West Coast Conference action for the remainder of the 2022-23 season. BYU is 7-4 in league play and currently sit in third place behind Gonzaga (11-0) and Portland (10-1) in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. San Diego is a game behind BYU at 6-5.
- SCORING DUO. BYU has two players averaging double-figure scoring with Nani Falatea and Lauren Gustin. Falatea is No. 6 in the WCC and leads the team with 15.7 points per game while Gustin is right behind at 15.6. Falatea has scored 20 or more in four consecutive games, including a career-high 27 points at Pacific last week.
- NATION’S BEST. Forward Lauren Gustin was just named one of 10 final candidates for the 2023 Katrina McClain Award, her second-consecutive year with that honor. She leads the nation with with 16.5 rebounds per game and 362 total rebounds. She is No. 2 in double-doubles with 20 in 22 games. The junior from Salem, Utah has posted 20 or more rebounds seven times this year to lead the country. Gustin was recently named to the Naismith College Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Award watch list.
- MILESTONES. Gustin is also just collected her 1,000th career rebound. With one more double-double, she will have 50 career double-doubles. She would join Tina Gunn Robison as the only other BYU player to hit both marks.