BYU gets first home win with 71-47 defeat of Carroll College
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball head coach Amber Whiting recorded her first-career win at home as the Cougars defeated Carroll College 71-47 at the Marriott Center on Wednesday afternoon.
"We made some adjustments at halftime and the girls really executed them," Whiting said. "We've been trying to really dial in to the execution part and I was really happy they did that. They just knocked down shots and they looked like they were in rhythm."
BYU shot 49 percent from the field for the game and 47 percent from 3-point range. The Cougars also outrebounded Carroll 41-22 and forced 11 turnovers.
Point guard Nani Falatea was a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball, leading BYU with 17 points, while also pitching in five rebounds, tying a career-high six assists and recording a career-high with four steals.
Forward Lauren Gustin extended her nation-leading double-double streak with a sixth consecutive on Wednesday night. Gustin brought down 10 boards to go along with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Kaylee Smiler added 12 points, including three 3-pointers, while Rose Bubakar and Arielle Mackey-Williams recorded nine and seven points, respectively. Bubakar also pulled down seven boards.
The Fighting Saints were led by Jamie Pickens’ 17 points and six rebounds.
Bubakar began the scoring for the Cougars with a fadeaway midrange jumper off the glass. Falatea took over from there, making an impact on both offense and defense. BYU went up 4-2 after Falatea stole a Saints’ pass and helped Gustin score on the other end.
Gustin would strike again moments later off an assist from a double-teamed Smiler. Despite missing on the drive, Falatea would squeeze her own rebound and score on the jumper to give the Cougars an 8-2 edge. Falatea would extend BYU’s lead to 11-4 with a 3-pointer and then finish the quarter with a second steal and take to the tin for two.
The Cougars led 15-8 at quarter’s end.
Carroll narrowed the Cougar lead to three at 17-14 as BYU began the quarter with turnover trouble, part of eight giveaways on the half. The BYU offense got back on the board with a 3-point play from Gustin after Mackey-Williams saved an errant pass on the boundary and delivered the ball to the assisting Amanda Barcello.
Carroll would come roaring back within one at 21-20 following a 6-0 run and three-minute BYU scoring drought with two minutes left until halftime.
Smiler and Falatea took the lid off the basket to end the half with Smiler finding the bottom of the net from deep and Falatea scoring on a driving lay-in to put BYU up 28-22 at the half.
The Cougars shot 39 percent in the opening quarters and scored 15 second-chance points off 21 rebounds. Falatea’s nine points and Gustin’s eight led BYU for the half.
After an inconsistent start to the game, the BYU offense found its groove in the third quarter, shooting 73 percent from the field including 4-of-6 from distance and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Smiler jumpstarted the Cougar attack with a four-point play that gave BYU its first double-digit lead of the game at 32-22. Gustin and Bubakar would then team-up to help the Cougars take 40-28 lead as the forwards exchanged scores and assists in the post on three-straight possessions.
A string of 3-pointers from Falatea, Smiler and Mackey-Williams further ballooned the BYU lead to 17 at 49-32. Free-throw makes from Bubakar and Mackey-Williams gave the Cougars a game-high lead of 20 at 54-34 to end the quarter.
Despite a clunky start to the final period, BYU continued its breakaway run in the fourth quarter with Falatea continuing to lead the charge. After a putback score from Emma Calvert, opened BYU’s fourth-quarter scoring, Kate Vorwaller dished to Falatea for yet another 3-point make. Falatea would close her minutes for the game with a putback score of her own that gave the Cougars a 69-45 lead. BYU would go on to win 71-47.
BYU remains at home for a Saturday showdown with Ball State on Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. MST. Watch the Cougars take-on the Cardinals live on BYUtv.org or the BYUtv App.
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