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Fourth-quarter rally beats Santa Clara 78-72
SANTA CLARA – BYU used a 33-point fourth quarter to come back and beat Santa Clara 78-72 on the road Thursday night at the Leavey Center.
Trailing 49-45, the Cougars (14-12, 9-6) outscored the Broncos 33-23 in the fourth quarter. The 33 points are the most BYU has scored in a single quarter this season. BYU got 25 points from its two top scorers in the final 10 minutes––13 from Lauren Gustin and 12 from Nani Falatea.
“I’m so proud of how the girls fought tonight,” BYU head coach Amber Whiting said. “Every time they took a punch they punched right back harder and I’m really happy with how we were able to finish that game.”
Gustin tied her career high with 30 points to go along with 16 rebounds, her 24th double-double of the year. The 30 points for Gustin pushed her over 1,000 career points. Now with 1,022 career points, she is tied with her mother, Scarlett Overly (played at BYU 1987-89) for No. 31 in school history.
Gustin, the nation’s leading rebounder, also became just the second BYU women’s player to notch 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, behind Cougar Hall of Famer Tina Gunn Robison. The Salem, Utah, product also tied the West Coast Conference record for most rebounds in a single season at 427.
Falatea scored 19 points and dished out a game-high six assists. Kaylee Smiler also added 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Arielle Mackey-Williams chipped in eight points, four assists and three steals.
BYU shot 50 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from behind the arc while limiting the Broncos to 42.3 percent overall and only 22.2 percent from distance. The Cougars dominated the paint with a 40-26 advantage and outrebounded Santa Clara 34-26. BYU also blocked eight shots to just one from the Broncos.
After BYU fell behind early, Gustin hit a turnaround jumper off the glass for BYU’s first points and tacked on two more makes to trim the lead to 8-6 with 4:36 to go in the first quarter.
The Broncos put together a 7-0 run before the Cougars put a stop to it in the last few seconds with another Gustin layup to end the quarter at 15-10.
Trailing by as many as nine, BYU made it a three-point game after holding the Broncos scoreless for three minutes. The Cougars chipped away to make it 28-25 with 2:27 to go.
Mackey-Williams tied it up with a trey from the corner to make it 30-30 and Falatea banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer, sending BYU into halftime with a 33-30 lead.
After trading buckets, BYU went on a 6-0 run to stay in front 43-37 midway through the third quarter.
Santa Clara answered back with a 9-0 run however, going back in front 46-43 with 1:44 to go in the third. The Broncos held on to a 49-45 lead going into the final frame.
Amanda Barcello got BYU back in the lead with a wide-open three at the top of the arc for a 54-53 edge with eight minutes to go. Falatea hit a trey on a second-chance opportunity for a 59-55 lead just over one minute later.
Smiler added another triple with 4:36 to go, giving the Cougars their biggest lead of the game at 64-55. Santa Clara quickly answered with a 6-0 run in 52 seconds to make a one possession game with 3:18 remaining.
Gustin got back-to-back layups to stretch the edge to 68-61 with one minute to go. Despite trading free throws and some made shots from the Broncos, BYU held on to win it 78-72.
BYU plays on the road at San Francisco on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. PST at War Memorial Gymnasium. The game will be on the WCC Network and televised locally in the San Francisco region on NBC Sports Bay Area.
Cougars take on Santa Clara and San Francisco in season's final road trip
PROVO, Utah – After last week's home split, BYU women's basketball will hit the road to visit Santa Clara on Thursday and San Francisco on Saturday. Thursday's game tips off at 6 p.m. PST while Saturday will start at 2 p.m. PST with both games being streamed on the WCC Network.
Saturday's game against San Francisco will also be available on the following television networks: NBC Sports Bay Area, ROOT Sports NW, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Wisconsin, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Southeast.
While the game will also be available on the WCC Network, however it will be geo blocked in the NBC Sports Bay Area, ROOT Sports NW, Bally Sports San Diego and Bally Sports SoCal territories. The WCC will share a coverage map on the Where to Watch page before Saturday's game.
BYU (13-12, 8-6) vs. Santa Clara (14-13, 5-9)
Thursday, Feb. 16
6 p.m. PST
TV/Stream: WCC Network
BYU (12-11, 7-5) vs. LMU (6-18, 3-10)
Saturday, Feb. 18
2 p.m. PST
War Memorial Gymnasium
TV/Stream: WCC Network
Follow on Twitter: @byuwbb
- SANTA CLARA (FEB 16). The Broncos welcome the Cougars to the Leavey Center having lost four of their last five since taking down BYU at the Marriott Center on Jan. 21, 69-59. Santa Clara scores 70.3 points per game and has shot 43.0 percent in conference play. The Broncos have three double-figure scorers with Tess Heal leading the way with 16.9 points.
- SAN FRANCISCO (FEB 18). The Cougars took down the Dons 78-59 in the last meeting on Jan. 19 at the Marriott Center. San Francisco comes into the contest having lost three of their last four, the win coming at Saint Mary’s a 69-66 win. The Dons have three players scoring in double-figures with Ioanna Krimili leading the way with 17.8 points per game.
- LAST GAME. The Cougars come into the Leavey Center after taking down the LMU Lions 67-42 at home last Saturday. Lauren Gustin led the way for BYU with 21 points, 17 rebounds and four assists. The Cougar defense held the Lions to 28-percent shooting, 26.6 from behind the arc and forced 13 turnovers in the win.
- CONFERENCE PLAY. BYU is 8-6 in league play and currently in alone in fourth place, behind Gonzaga (13-1), Portland (12-2) and San Diego (9-5). San Francisco and Santa Clara are 6th and 8th in the league, respectively.
- SCORING DUO. BYU has two players averaging double-figure scoring with Nani Falatea and Lauren Gustin. Gustin leads with 16.3 points per game while Falatea is at 15.1 points per game, both in the top 10 of the WCC. Falatea has topped 20 points in five games while Gustin has logged nine 20-point games and a career-high 30 against Pepperdine.
- 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 411 total rebounds. She is tied for first in double-doubles with 23 in 25 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. With 21 points and 17 rebounds against LMU, Lauren Gustin now has 409 total points and 411 total rebounds this season, becoming the first player across all divisions of NCAA basketball, men or women, to notch the 400/400 mark this season. Gustin is just the third BYU women’s player to have 400/400 in a season, behind Tina Gunn Robison and Jennifer Hamson.