Cougars lose overtime heartbreaker to Pepperdine 64-63
PROVO, Utah – Despite forward Lauren Gustin’s career-high 30 points to go along with 16 rebounds, the BYU women's basketball team fell in overtime to Pepperdine 64-63 at home Thursday night.
BYU (12-12, 7-6) led Pepperdine (8-16, 3-11) by as many as 10 in the second half, but couldn’t hold onto a late nine-point lead as Pepperdine went on a 9-0 run to close regulation and tie the game at 57-57 for the first overtime game of the year.
“We didn’t pass up the good shot for the great shot tonight,” BYU head coach Amber Whiting said. “We just need to get back to making sure we’re playing for each other. We got outrebounded tonight, and a lot of that is just about energy and effort.”
BYU (12-12, 7-6) was outrebounded 47-34 including 15-12 on the offensive glass. Pepperdine turned the offensive boards into a 13-6 advantage in second-chance points. The Waves outshot BYU 43.1 percent to 40.3 percent from the field and neither team shot the 3-pointer at a high clip, with the Cougars making just 4 of 18 and Pepperdine 3 of 10 from distance.
Gustin’s performance (14-of-21 shooting) marked her 22nd double-double in 24 games this season and 51st of her career. Her 30 points became the first time a team member scored 30 or more on the season.
Arielle Mackey-Williams added 10 points and Nani Falatea scored all nine of her points in the second half. The Cougars forced 21 turnovers, and their 10 steals were just one shy of a season-high.
The Cougars had a chance to win down 64-63 with possession but couldn’t convert as time expired.
Pepperdine jumped out to a 9-4 lead midway through the first quarter after the Cougars began 2-of-10 from the field. Gustin scored the first two buckets on close-range post-ups.
With 3:12 remaining in the first quarter, BYU had narrowed the gap to 9-8 after Gustin registered her sixth point followed by a layup from reserve Rose Bubakar – assisted by Mackey-Williams – to become the first Cougar not named Gustin to score.
A 6-0 run brought the Cougars their first lead of the night, going up 14-11 with 8:55 left in the half. Gustin continued to dominate, scoring 16 of BYU’s first 20 after a layup with 3:37 remaining.
At halftime, Gustin had tallied 18 points, just one shy of Pepperdine’s team total of 19 to go along with nine rebounds as the Cougars held a 24-19 lead heading into the locker room. BYU scored 22 of its 24 first half points in the paint and forced 12 turnovers by the Waves. The Cougars also bounced back in the turnover category, committing zero in the second quarter.
Pepperdine began the second half with a 6-0 run of its own. It would be halted after Gustin gathered her 10th rebound to spark a fast break that led to a Mackey-Williams trey, BYU’s first make of the game from beyond the arc.
With 7:20 remaining in the third period, the Cougars were up 27-25 as Gustin had just notched her 22nd double-double of the season (19 points, 10 rebounds).
A triple from Kaylee Smiler capped a 9-0 Cougar run as BYU claimed its largest advantage of the night at 33-25.
With 1:52 to go in the third, BYU continued to hold an 8-point lead. Pepperdine closed the gap quickly as the Waves’ Ally Stedman knocked down a buzzer-beating three-pointer to make it 37-36 for BYU at the end of the quarter.
The Cougars upped the intensity to start the fourth. Falatea and Gustin scored two buckets each to go along with a three from Emma Calvert in the pivotal early minutes to open the largest lead of the night at 48-38 with 6:45 remaining.
Mackey-Williams became the second to score in double-figures after a layup with 4:21 remaining to make it 53-46.
Up 57-48 with 2:54 left, Pepperdine went on a 9-0 to even the score after two made free-throws with 26.4 seconds left and BYU’s possession. As Falatea drove near the basket, she was tied up for a jump ball with two seconds to go as Pepperdine held the possession arrow. With a chance to win at the horn, the Waves’ three-point attempt sailed strong off the glass as the game headed to overtime.
After the Waves opened with a three-point play, Gustin responded by scoring her 28th point to claim a new career high as BYU trimmed the deficit to 60-59.
The Waves scored again to make it 62-59, but good ball-movement led to another Gustin bucket in the paint to make it 62-61 with 2:33 remaining.
Trailing 64-63, the Cougars had the ball with 15.8 seconds after a steal by Falatea. Following a timeout, Falatea had a chance to score in the paint with two seconds left, but missed just before time expired as the Cougars lost 64-63.
The Cougars will remain in Provo to play LMU at the Marriott Center on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv, BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App.
BYU back at home for Pepperdine and LMU
PROVO, Utah – After three consecutive road games, BYU returns to the Marriott Center to host Pepperdine on Thursday and LMU on Saturday. Thursday's game tips off at 7 p.m. MT while Saturday will start at 2 p.m. MT. Both games will be broadcast on BYUtv, BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App.
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- PEPPERDINE (FEB 9). Pepperdine comes to the Marriott Center after losing four consecutive games. The Waves are 7-16 on the year with a 2-11 mark in WCC play. BYU won the first matchup with a 63-52 win in Malibu.
- LMU (FEB 11). The Lions will visit Provo on Saturday after a trip to San Diego. LMU beat Saint Mary’s at home before heading out on the road. LMU is 6-18 overall and 3-10 in the conference. BYU beat the Lions 63-46 in January.
- LAST GAME. For the first time since mid-December, BYU is looking to bounce back from consecutive losses after dropping last week’s game at San Diego. Despite tying the game at 43-43 in the final two minutes, the Cougars couldn’t complete the comeback.
- CONFERENCE PLAY. BYU is 7-5 in league play and are currently tied with San Diego in the standings for third place behind Gonzaga (12-1) and Portland (12-1). LMU and Pepperdine are 9th and 10th in the league, respectively.
- SCORING DUO. BYU has two players averaging double-figure scoring with Nani Falatea and Lauren Gustin. Both are tied for No.6 in the league, averaging an identical 15.6 points per game. Falatea has topped 20 points in five games while Gustin has logged seven 20-point games.
- 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 16.4 rebounds per game and 378 total rebounds. She is No. 2 in double-doubles with 21 in 23 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 went over 1,000 career rebounds against Pacific and got her 50th career double-double against San Diego last week. She joined Tina Gunn Robison as the only other BYU player to hit both marks.