BYU falls to No. 23 Gonzaga 67-58, Gustin grabs 11th double-double
SPOKANE, Wash. — Lauren Gustin notched her 11th double-double as BYU women’s basketball fell to No. 23 Gonzaga, 67-58, despite the Cougars hanging tough with the top-25 team through almost the entirety of the game at the McCarthey Center on Saturday.
Gustin led the Cougars with 20 points and 13 rebounds in her nation-leading, 11th double-double of the season. The junior from Salem, Utah, went 9-of-14 from the floor, was perfect from the charity stripe and added three assists and a block to her stat line in the nine-point defeat.
BYU held the Zags below their season average in points, field goal percentage and three-point percentage on Saturday. BYU became the third team to hold Gonzaga’s leading scorer Yvonne Ejim, who averages 17 points and 7.6 rebounds, to under 10 points.
Rose Bubakar and Nani Falatea also finished in double-figures for BYU with 15 and 10 points respectively.
Bubakar recorded her sixth double-figure scoring performance of the season as she went 5-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line. She also grabbed four rebounds and a steal.
Falatea finished with 10 points, marking her ninth double-digit game of the season. The sophomore guard also recorded three assists, a block and a steal.
The Cougars and Zags traded buckets early with neither team leading by more than three until the 4:51 mark when Gonzaga took a five-point advantage.
Gustin and Kaylee Smiler cut the Zags lead to one with a layup and free throws respectively before Gonzaga countered with two-straight scores to lead by six with 59 seconds left in the quarter.
As BYU held for the final shot, Falatea came of a screen and weaved her way to the cup to trim the lead to four going into the second.
The Cougars scored nine-straight points to open the second quarter and take a 21-18 lead with 7:03 to play in the opening half. Back-to-back layups from Arielle Mackey-Williams and Gustin knotted the game at 18, before Bubakar knocked down a left-wing triple to take a three-point lead.
The Zags ended the 9-0 Cougar run before a baseline jumper from Gustin retook a three-point advantage for BYU.
With 3:22 left in the half, Gustin went 2-of-2 from the line to give the Cougars a five-point lead, their largest of the game.
After three Gonzaga free throws cut the lead to two, Gabriella Bosquez hit her first three of the game to give the Cougars a 32-27 with 1:12 to play.
BYU led by three at the break and held the Zags to 29 points in the opening half, six points below their first-half average.
After Gustin extended the Cougar lead to five, just seconds into the third-quarter, the Zags scored five-straight to knot the game at 34 before Bubakar hit a jumper to retake a two-point lead, 36-34.
The Zags scored 10-straight to take a seven-point lead with 4:25 left in the third quarter. After being down seven with 1:46 to play a scoop-and-score from Bosquez trimmed the lead to five with 39 seconds remaining in the quarter.
After an Amanda Barcello rebound, the Cougars again played for the final shot with Mackey-Williams finding Gustin rolling to the basket with three seconds left to cut the Gonzaga lead to three, 50-47 going into the final ten minutes.
Bubakar brought BYU within three with an offensive rebound, put-back before Falatea got to the rim for two bringing cutting the Gonzaga lead to one.
With 6:20 to play and the Bulldogs leading 55-54, the Zags finished the game on a 12-4 run to secure their tenth win of the season, 67-58.
The Cougars will continue their road trip as they travel to Portland to take on the Pilots on Monday. The game will tip at 6 p.m. PST and will be broadcast live on the WCC Network.
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