Gustin's 20-20 night leads women's basketball past Pacific 69-51
PROVO, Utah – Junior forward Lauren Gustin registered the second 20-20 game of her career to lead BYU women’s basketball to a 69-51 home win over Pacific Thursday night. Gustin’s 21 points and 22 rebounds comes on the heels of her setting a career-high 23 rebounds in the team’s previous game.
"We came out with a goal in mind and we accomplished what we wanted to today," said BYU head coach Amber Whiting. "The focus was there all week. That's sometimes hard coming back from Christmas break, so I feel like we had a good first game back."
The win gave the Cougars (6-8, 1-2 WCC) their first conference win of the season. Gustin was joined in double figures by Nani Falatea (14) and Arielle Mackey-Williams (13). BYU shot 52.1 percent and made seven threes, holding Pacific (5-8, 0-2) to 33.3 percent shooting. The Cougars also outrebounded the Tigers 43-27, with Gustin’s contribution the fifth time in her career with 20 or more rebounds.
The game started slow as the teams combined for 2-of-15 shooting from the field in the first three-and-a-half minutes. Falatea helped spark the offense five minutes in with back-to-back threes and a block on the defensive end to give the Cougars a 13-4 lead with 3:39 to go in the first.
Mackey-Williams added a layup and three of her own on the next two possessions, with her and Falatea scoring eight and six respectively in the first frame. Her first bucket was set up by a steal from Bosquez, the sixth of Pacific’s seven turnovers in the quarter.
BYU led 18-9 at the end of the first quarter, which included 7-of-14 field-goal shooting and four made 3-pointers.
Gustin helped the team stretch the lead to double digits throughout the second quarter, including an early offensive rebound and put-back. She finished the half with eight points and nine rebounds.
A perfect six-for-six from the free-throw line saw the Cougars hold a 32-18 lead with four minutes until halftime. The lead became 17 after Calvert added a three on the next possession, with seven of her nine points in the game coming in the second quarter.
A 6-0 Pacific run was stopped by a Falatea layup that sent the teams to the break with BYU holding a 37-24 lead. Mackey-Williams was the team’s leading scorer with 10 points, while Falatea had four assists. Four different Cougars recorded steals as they forced the Tigers into 12 first half turnovers.
The second half started just as slow as the first, with the teams shooting a combined 1-for-10 from the field in the first three minutes. Gustin got her 13th double-double in 14 games this season off a post move to break the drought, adding another basket on the next possession to put the Cougars up 43-26 with 6:03 left in the third.
A 7-1 Pacific run trimmed the BYU lead to 12, but consecutive Cougar three-pointers put the score back to 50-33 with a minute left in the quarter. The first came when Kaylee Smiler beat the shot clock, with the second coming from Amanda Barcello in transition after a Gustin steal. A Pacific basket then ended the quarter with the Cougars up by 15.
Pacific scored first to open the fourth before BYU went on a 10-0 run off five-consecutive layups. Gustin capped the stretch to put the Cougars up 60-37 with 5:30 remaining, good for the game’s highest lead of 23.
The Tigers then used a timeout to set up their full-court press. The pressure contributed to seven BYU turnovers in less than three minutes, cutting the lead to 11 with 2:50 remaining after a 14-2 Pacific run. That would be as close as the visitors got, with the Cougars ending on a run of their own, scoring the game’s final seven points to secure the 69-51 victory.
Gustin continued to lead the team down the stretch, grabbing three boards in the final two minutes. She also added a free throw and layup in the final minute to get to 20 points for the fourth time this season. Her 17 field-goal attempts tied a career high.
The Cougars remain at the Marriott Center for their third-straight home game this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. MST against Saint Mary’s. The contest will be broadcast on BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App.
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