BYU gets in the win column with 65-56 victory over Washington State
LAIE, Hawaii – BYU women’s basketball used a big first half and stayed in control from start to finish, beating Washington State 65-56 on Friday at the North Shore Showcase.
Three players scored in double figures including 19 from Nani Falatea and 15 apiece from Rose Bubakar and Lauren Gustin. Gustin added 15 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year in four games.
Bubakar went 7 of 8 from the field on a night where BYU shot 66.7 percent from the field and dominated the glass 31 to 14.
The win marked the first for head coach Amber Whiting’s collegiate career.
BYU (1-3) led at half and built as much as a 20-point advantage, making it too much for Washington State (3-1) to claw back into the game.
BYU took a 13-7 lead after a Falatea three-point play with just over four minutes to go in the first quarter.
The Cougars stayed in control through the end of the first quarter with seven points apiece from Gustin and Falatea to power an 18-13 edge.
Bubakar chipped in two layups and Falatea continued to add with another bucket and BYU stayed in front 25-21 with six minutes left in until halftime. Bubakar added a midrange jumper two minutes later to stay in front 29-24.
Bubakar added a layup and a free throw while Arielle Mackey-Williams found her stroke from three inside of the last two minutes. Falatea added another buzzer-beating layup for the Cougars to take a 37-24 lead at halftime.
Bubakar picked up right where she left off with more buckets to start the second half. Kaylee Smiler added a triple to push BYU’s lead to 45-30 with 6:35 left in the third quarter.
Mackey-Williams got a layup to go for two and added a free throw make on the foul to keep the lead at 13 points inside of two minutes to go in the third.
Falatea made it 3 for 3 on buzzer beaters, adding another driving layup at the end of the third quarter for a 51-36 lead heading into the final frame.
Falatea kept her foot on the gas with a layup and a 3-pointer to start the fourth, making it a 20-point game. With five minutes to go in the game BYU led 62-45.
Washington State chipped away at the end of the game but BYU’s advantage was enough in the end, hanging on to win it 65-56.
Up next, BYU plays Troy on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. HT (6 p.m. MT) at the Cannon Activities Center in La’ie, Hawai’i as part of the North Shore Showcase.
BYU travels to Oahu for North Shore Showcase
PROVO, Utah – The BYU women's basketball team will play two games in La'ie, Hawai'i at the North Shore Showcase on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19. The Cougars play Washington State Friday at 3 p.m. HT and Troy on Saturday at 3 p.m. HT.
Both games will be played at the Cannon Activities Center and streamed via BeTheBeast.com with a subscription purchase.
- WASHINGTON STATE (NOV. 18). BYU and Washington State are meeting for the 13th time on the court and first time on a neutral floor. BYU won last year’s matchup 71-53 in Provo. Washington is 3-0 on the season, with wins over LMU, San Francisco and Prairie View A&M.
- TROY (NOV. 19). The BYU Cougars and Troy Trojans are matching up for the first time in basketball. The Trojans are 2-2, most recently coming off back-to-back losses to UCLA and San Francisco.
- LAST GAME. BYU played its best game to date but wasn’t able to complete the upset against No. 16 Oklahoma, eventually falling 77-66. A one-point game with three minutes to go, a few turnovers at the end proved too much for the Cougars to overcome.
- NEW ERA. BYU has a new head coach for the first time in 21 seasons after the retirement of Jeff Judkins. Judkins, the winningest coach in school history (455 wins) paved the way for first-time head coach Amber Whiting, a Cougar alum to take the rains in 2022-23. BYU is will also need to replace the WCC Player of the Year (Shaylee Gonzales), another All-WCC First Team selection (Paisley Harding) and an All-WCC Honorable Mention (Tegan Graham). The Cougars are also replacing point guard Maria Albiero who was tied with Paisley Harding for the most played games in school history.
- WCC REGULAR-SEASON CHAMPS: BYU won its fifth regular-season title under head coach Jeff Judkins with a 15-1 record in league play. The last time the program won back-to-back regular-seasons was during 05-06 and 06-07.
- RETURNERS. BYU returns one of the nations’ top rebounders, All-WCC First Team selection Lauren Gustin in 2022-23. Gustin was a finalist for the Katrina McClain Award last year, averaging a double-double at 10.7 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. The Cougars also return one of the squads deadliest 3-point shooters in Nani Falatea who hit 50 percent of her treys last season (21 of 42) to set a school record.