BYU flies over Monmouth Hawks 70-50
PROVO, Utah - BYU women’s basketball defeated Monmouth 70-50 Wednesday afternoon behind Lauren Gustin’s career-high 23 rebounds, five Cougars scoring in double figures and efficient three-point shooting.
BYU improves to 5-8 with Wednesday afternoon’s win. Gustin racked up her 12th double-double in 13 games this season (12 points, 23 boards) while the Cougars shot 57 percent (8-of-14) from beyond the arc, their highest mark of the season.
“I’m really impressed with how the girls responded after taking two losses this last weekend,” said BYU head coach Amber Whiting. “Playing three games in five days is tough, but they really came to play today, they really shared the ball and that’s what I was most impressed by.”
Nani Falatea also notched a career-high with eight assists. Among the five Cougars in double-figures were Falatea with 14, Gustin 12, Kaylee Smiler 14, Emma Calvert 11, and Arielle Mackey-Williams led with 15.
Smiler had a career-high in three-point field goals made with four on 4-of-5 shooting from three as she accounted for half of the team’s eight triples.
After two early threes put Monmouth up 6-0, the Cougars found success in the paint as Gustin scored two early buckets to go along with a layup from Smiler.
At the end of the quarter, 10 of BYU’s 13 points were in the paint, compared to just two of the Hawks’ 14. Both teams were effective on the glass, pulling in 11 apiece in the opening quarter.
After trailing 17-13, the Cougars picked up the pace offensively to kickstart on a 16-3 run, capitalizing on Monmouth’s 1-for-12 shooting during the stretch. Gustin continued to show dominance on the boards, pulling in double figures with 12 in the first half alone paired with 8 points to finish just shy of a double-double at halftime.
Reserve guard Mackey-Williams was a huge spark off the bench in the second quarter, scoring all 10 of her points on 4 of 6 shooting. Falatea chipped in seven points as BYU took a 32-23 lead into the half.
Both teams traded buckets over the first few minutes of the third quarter before Smiler hit back-to-back threes and the Cougars got out in the open floor for a fast-break layup by Emma Calvert. The sequence opened a 14-point lead at 45-31 to force a timeout by the Hawks midway through the third quarter.
Immediately following the timeout, BYU would continue to add to its lead, taking a game-high 19-point advantage. Gustin scored her 10th point of the afternoon late in the third quarter to secure her 12th double-double.
Falatea shined in the third quarter, matching her first-half point total with seven points on 3-for-6 shooting.
The Cougars continued to roll in the well-balanced effort during the final period. Smiler knocked down two threes to add to her 14 total points while Gustin matched a career-high in rebounds at 21.
BYU continues its home stand with the second of four games in Provo slated for next Thursday, December 29, when the Cougars host Pacific. Tip is scheduled for 7 pm.m MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and the BYUtv App.
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