Jenny Craig Pavilion
Jenny Craig Pavilion San Diego CA 92110
Cougars drop road contest 58-56 to San Diego
SAN DIEGO — BYU women’s basketball came up just short to San Diego Monday night at Jenny Craig Pavilion, falling 58-56 to the Toreros.
“Credit to San Diego. Their defensive pressure took us out of our rhythm for most of the night," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We did have our chances. We made some nice plays to put us where we needed to be at the end, but we just couldn’t quite pull it off.”
After a Shaylee Gonzales layup capped a 7-0 Cougar run and tied the game at 56 in the final minute, a pair of Torero (5-3, 2-1) free throws and a series of BYU (6-2, 2-1) turnovers ultimately doomed the Cougars.
Gonzales led all scorers with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds, a season-high five steals and three assists. Sophomore forward Lauren Gustin racked up a season-high 18 rebounds and also added six points and two assists.
Senior center Sara Hamson tallied a season-high six blocks on the night, moving her past her older sister, Jennifer, as No. 2 on BYU’s all-time career blocks list. Hamson also recorded seven points, six rebounds and an assist.
Coming off the bench, senior guard Tegan Graham also had seven points to go along with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Sophomore guard Kaylee Smiler and senior guard Maria Albiero each scored five points for the Cougars.
BYU shot 43% from the floor, compared to USD’s 37%, but committed a season-high 26 turnovers against the Toreros’ stingy full-court defense.
With the Cougars trailing 56-54 with just more than a minute left in the game, Gonzales tied things up at 56 with a layup while being fouled as the shot clock expired. A Torero free throw on the other end then gave USD a one-point lead, 57-56, with 59 seconds left. Gonzales lost the ball on the ensuing possession but proceeded to steal it back with 13 seconds remaining.
Following a BYU timeout, Gonzales passed the ball just out of Smiler’s reach in the corner, giving the Toreros the ball back with 9 seconds left. USD converted one of two free throws following a Cougar foul, and Gonzales’ last-second heave came up short at the buzzer, preserving the 58-56 Torero win.
The Cougars struggled early against the Toreros’ full-court press, as USD took a 5-0 lead just over a minute into the contest. BYU tied the game at seven mid-way through the quarter following a Harding triple and baskets from Gustin and Gonzales. Back-to-back layups by Albiero and Gonzales tied things up at 11 before the Toreros scored three unanswered points to take a 14-11 lead at the end of the period.
Layups by Gonzales and Hamson followed by a fast-break Gonzales triple gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, 18-16, three minutes into the second quarter. Graham drained a 3-pointer from the wing to break a three-minute BYU scoring drought and tie the game at 21 with three minutes left in the half. A USD jumper then gave the Toreros a 23-21 advantage at the break.
Albiero tied the game at 26 with a 3-pointer two minutes into the second half before back-to-back fast-break layups by Gonzales gave the Cougars a 30-26 lead. Gonzales scored another fast-break layup before finding a wide-open Hamson for a lay-in, putting BYU up 35-33. A block by Hamson led to a triple by Graham to extend the Cougars’ lead to seven, 40-33. Layups by Hamson and Smiler followed by a pull-up jumper by Gonzales put BYU up four, 46-42, heading into the final quarter.
The Toreros scored three quick baskets to open the final quarter before a Harding jumper tied the game at 48. The Cougars struggled to score over the next four minutes, as an 8-1 USD run gave the Toreros a 56-49 lead with 3:25 remaining. BYU responded, however, with a pair of free throws by Graham and a 3-pointer by Smiler to bring the Cougars within two, 56-54, with 2:44 left.
Despite tying the game at 56 with just over a minute left, BYU went on to fall 58-56.
Up next, the Cougars remain on the road to face Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m. PST. The matchup will be streamed live on the WCC Network.
- Gonzales led all scorers at halftime with nine points to go along with six rebounds and two steals. She ended with 21 points on 9 of 20 shooting while adding eight rebounds, a season-high five steals and three assists.
- Gustin pulled down 10 rebounds and scored two points in the first 20 minutes. She finished the contest with a BYU career-high 18 rebounds, six points and two assists.
- Sara Hamson swatted a season-high six shots, moving her past her sister, Jennifer, as No. 2 on BYU’s all-time career blocks list. Hamson now has 343 career blocks.
- Graham stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.
- Albiero recorded five points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal.
- Smiler scored five points off the bench in 13 minutes of action.
- The Cougars shot 43% from the floor, 33% from three and 50% from the free-throw line while holding USD to 37% shooting.
- The Cougars committed a season-high 26 turnovers compared to the Toreros’ 15.
- BYU dominated the boards, out-rebounding USD 41-29.
- In blocks, the Cougars tallied a season-high seven while the Toreros had one.
- USD’s bench outscored BYU’s, 23-12.
- The contest featured six lead changes and nine ties
BYU opens road trip at San Diego
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball hits the road to take on San Diego at Jenny Craig Pavilion on Monday, Jan. 4, at 6 p.m. PST. The game will be streamed live on the WCC Network.
Monday’s contest will be the 21st all-time between the two teams, with the Cougars holding a 13-7 series lead. BYU and San Diego split the season series last year and both finished the 2019-20 West Coast Conference regular season standings tied for second.
ABOUT BYU (6-1, 2-0 WCC)
- The Cougars are 2-0 in WCC play with dominant wins at home last week over San Francisco (70-46) and Santa Clara (76-50)
- Three different players are averaging double figures in scoring for BYU: Sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales (20.3 ppg), sophomore forward Lauren Gustin (13.4 ppg) and senior guard Paisley Johnson Harding (12.1 ppg)
- Gustin ranks third in the nation in rebounds per game (12.4 rpg) and 5th in double doubles (5)
- Gonzales is the WCC’s leading scorer and the 33rd highest scorer in the country
- In assists, senior guard Maria Albiero leads the team with 4.4 apg. Albiero also leads the WCC with a 2.8 assist/turnover ratio
- With 337 career blocks, Sara Hamson is just four away from passing her older sister, Jennifer, as No. 2 on BYU’s all-time career blocks list
- As a team, the Cougars rank 20th in the country in free-throw percentage (.780) and 39th in total 3-pointers made (55)
ABOUT SAN DIEGO (4-3, 1-1 WCC)
- The Toreros are 1-1 in conference play after losing last week to Santa Clara 51-49 and defeating San Francisco 61-54
- Senior guard Jordyn Edwards leads San Diego in scoring (10.3 ppg), assists (3.0 apg), steals (2.9 spg) and blocks (0.6 bpg)
- Fellow senior guard Sydney Hunter is the Toreros’ leading rebounder (6.4 rpg) and second-leading scorer (9.4 ppg)
- Junior forward Kendall Bird and senior guard Myah Pace are both averaging 8.3 ppg. Pace was selected to the 2020-21 WCC Preseason All-WCC Team
- San Diego finished tied with BYU for second place in last season’s final WCC regular season standings and was picked to finish fourth in this year’s Preseason WCC Poll
- Head coach Cindy Fisher is in her 16th season with the Toreros and has a 286-191 record with the program
- BYU has a 13-7 all-time series lead over San Diego
- When playing in San Diego, the Cougars are 3-5 against the Toreros
- Last season, BYU and San Diego split the season series. The Toreros most recently beat the Cougars in San Diego, 51-45, on Feb. 8, 2020
BYU remains on the road to face Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m. PST. The game will be streamed live on the WCC Network.