BYU's season-high 78 points takes down Dons
PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s basketball took down the San Francisco Dons 78-59 at the Marriott Center on Thursday afternoon in front of a record 8,758 fans.
"These ladies have so much potential, and they are starting to showcase that for the world to see," BYU head coach Amber Whiting said. "We see it day in and day out, in practice, when they put it all together it’s crazy what they can do.”
Junior forward Lauren Gustin tied her career high of 27 points to help the Cougars (11-8, 6-2) earn their seventh win in a row. The nation's leading rebounder also grabbed 19 boards. Gustin's double-double was her 18th in 19 games this year.
Nani Falatea followed close behind with 23 points. She also added six assists, three rebounds and two steals for BYU. Arielle Mackey-Williams also finished in double-digits with 13 points and six assists. Emma Calvert chipped in six points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
The Cougars also held San Francisco (13-7, 3-5) to just 26 percent from the three-point line. BYU outrebounded the Dons 46-24 and owned the paint with a 48-36 advantage.
The Marriott Center record for a women's game was aided by thousands of elementary school children in attendance for BYU's yearly "kids' game." The attendance number topped last year’s Gonzaga game of 6,289.
The Dons saw the first points of the game, but Gustin answered back with a three-pointer from the top of the arc after pulling down two defensive rebounds. A layup by Calvert minutes later and two Gustin free throws put BYU ahead of San Francisco 7-3 in the first five minutes of play.
A few quick points by the Dons put them up 15-11 before BYU’s Kaylee Smiler knocked down a three and the Cougars went on a 9-0 run. Back-to-back-to-back Calvert and Gustin layups put the Cougars in the lead 20-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Two quick driving layups by Gustin and Calvert gave the Cougars a fast start in the second quarter. With an 8-0 run over the Dons, BYU extended its lead by 10 points, 28-18.
With the help of three Mackey-Williams buckets in a row and a Falatea three-pointer, the Cougars went up 42-28 with just three minutes remaining in the first half.
The Cougars finished the first half shooting 53 percent from the field going 17 of 32 and 43 percent from the three-point line. Finishing the first half with a double-double, Gustin led the Cougars with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Mackey-Williams added 11 points and Calvert tallied six points, four rebounds and two blocks for BYU as they went into the locker room ahead of the Dons 42-30.
BYU started the second half strong with several driving layups by Gustin and Falatea to put the score 54-41 in the first three minutes of the half.
Falatea shot a perfect third quarter, going one-of-one from the three and five-of-five from the field to add 11 points for the Cougars. BYU went into the final quarter ahead of San Francisco by 16 points.
Gustin put up the first points in the final quarter with a driving layup assisted by Falatea. A steal by Falatea and a three by Smiler put the Cougars ahead by 19 with six minutes left in regulation.
With three minutes to go, Falatea went to the basket and drew a foul for a three-point play. A three-pointer by Amanda Barcello in the final two minutes of the game helped the Cougars beat the Dons 78-59.
The Cougars shot 58 percent from the field and 46 percent from the three-point line. BYU capitalized on 17 opponent turnovers for 15 points.
Up next, BYU takes on Santa Clara in the Marriott Center on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 2 pm MT. The game will be televised on BYUtv, the BYUtv App and BYUtv.org.
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