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BYU falls 86-72 at San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — Despite a 25-point, eight-rebound performance from Shaylee Gonzales, BYU women’s basketball fell 86-72 to San Francisco in the Cougars’ final game of the regular season.
“Hopefully we can regroup and learn from this,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “We didn’t do as well as we could have at guarding the three-point line or cutting off their drives to the basket. We weren’t quite as mentally prepared as we needed to be. But we’re looking forward to resting up next week and preparing for the (West Coast Conference) tournament.”
Gonzales dropped a team-high 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal in 35 minutes of action. Paisley Johnson Harding backed Gonzales with 17 points, five assists and three rebounds, while Maria Albiero scored a season-high 14 points.
Lauren Gustin pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds while Sara Hamson added eight points for BYU (17-4, 13-3).
The Cougars trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter before fighting back to within four in the third. The Dons (14-9, 10-7), fueled by freshman guard Ioanna Krimili’s 27 points, shot 57% from the floor and 47% from three on the game to keep BYU at bay and seal the win.
Gonzales drained a mid-range jumper and Albiero scored a fast-break layup off a steal to give BYU an early 6-2 lead. Harding and Gonzales each scored layups to put the Cougars up 11-5, but the Dons closed the first quarter on an 11-1 run to go up 16-12.
Graham hit a jumper and Gonzales scored a layup to tie the game at 16, but a 7-0 San Francisco run gave the Dons a 25-18 lead midway through the second quarter. Baskets in the paint by Hamson and Gonzales brought BYU within five, 29-24. San Francisco, however, scored 10 unanswered points to take a 39-24 lead. Albiero and Gonzales each hit midrange jumpers to then bring the Cougars within 11, 39-28, at the break.
Both teams traded baskets to start the third quarter until a driving layup by Gonzales and a Harding corner triple cut BYU’s deficit to seven, 46-39. Albiero then hit a baseline jumper and converted a three-point play to bring the score to 48-44 for the Dons. San Francisco refused to let the Cougars get any closer, as a 10-6 run by the Dons gave them a 58-50 lead heading into the fourth.
Harding converted a three-point play and hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key, but San Francisco continued its hot shooting to take a 72-58 lead three minutes into the fourth. Harding and Gonzales each knocked down a pair of free throws and Gonzales hit a triple to bring the Cougars within 10, 76-66, with 2:10 remaining. BYU upped its defensive pressure in the final minutes to try to close the gap, but the Dons ended the game on a 10-6 run to seal the 86-72 win.
The Cougars begin their preparations next week for the upcoming WCC Tournament, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 4-9. The final WCC standings, which are based on an adjusted winning percentage system this season, will be unveiled on Sunday, Feb. 28 and will determine tournament seeding.
- Gonzales scored a team-best 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting. She also pulled down a season-high-tying eight rebounds, two assists and one steal
- Harding scored 17 points to go along with five assists, three rebounds and one steal
- Albiero recorded a season-high 14 points, two rebounds and one steal in 34 minutes of action
- Gustin pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with one block and one steal
- Hamson added eight points, one rebound, one block and one steal
- Coming off the bench, Kaylee Smiler scored three points while Tegan Graham and Kyra Beckman each had two
- The Cougars shot 42% from the floor, 19% from three and 82% from the free-throw line
- BYU out-rebounded the Dons 32-30
- The Cougars had 19 points off turnovers compared to San Francisco’s 17
- BYU scored 15 second-chance points while the Dons had nine
- San Francisco scored 18 fast-break points to the Cougars’ two
- The Dons tallied 21 bench points to BYU’s seven
- San Francisco won the assist (19-10) and steal (7-6) battles
- Both teams scored 34 points in the paint
Cougars close out regular season at San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — BYU women’s basketball will close out the regular season when it plays at San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 12 p.m. PST. The contest will be streamed live on the WCC Network.
ABOUT BYU (17-3, 13-2)
- The Cougars increased their current winning streak to eight games after coming from behind to defeat Santa Clara 66-63 on Thursday
- With Thursday’s win, BYU all but locked up a spot as the No. 2 seed in the upcoming WCC Tournament based on the conference’s adjusted winning percentage system this season
- Shaylee Gonzales scored a game-high 20 points versus the Broncos and is the WCC’s second-leading scorer (18.2 ppg). Gonzales also leads the team in assists (3.8 apg) and steals (2.5 spg)
- Lauren Gustin is the nation’s fourth-leading rebounder (12.9 rpg) and averages 12.4 points per contest. Gustin ranks seventh in the country in double-doubles this season with 13
- Paisley Johnson Harding, who scored 12 points to go along with a career-high 10 assists on Thursday, is BYU’s second-leading scorer (13.6 ppg)
- Sara Hamson leads the WCC in blocks (2.7 bpg) and is the NCAA’s active career blocks leader with 390
- As a team, the Cougars rank 15th nationally in assists per game (17.2) and 20th in field-goal percentage defense (.353)
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO (13-9, 9-7)
- The Dons have won eight of their last nine games and currently sit in fifth place in the WCC standings
- Freshman guard Ioanna Krimili leads the WCC in scoring (18.3 ppg) and 3-pointers per game (3.6)
- Along with Krimili, senior guard Lucie Hoskova (13.9 ppg) and sophomore guard Amalie Langer (10.0 ppg) are also averaging double figures
- Sophomore forward Lucija Kostic leads San Francisco in rebounds (5.4 rpg), assists (4.4 apg) and blocks (0.8 bpg)
- As a team, the Dons lead the WCC in 3-pointers per game (7.73) and rank second in scoring offense (71.77 ppg), 3-point percentage (.350) and 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.302)
- BYU holds a 21-6 all-time series advantage over San Francisco
- The Cougars are 7-6 against the Dons when playing in San Francisco
- Earlier this season, BYU defeated San Francisco 70-46 in the Marriott Center
The Cougars will begin their preparations next week for the upcoming WCC Tournament, which will take place in Las Vegas March 4-9. BYU is on track to take the court as a No. 2 seed and first play on Monday, March 8, in the second semifinals matchup at 2 p.m. PST on the WCC Network.
Additional schedule and broadcast information for the WCC Tournament can be found on WCCsports.com.