BYU flies over Monmouth Hawks 70-50
PROVO, Utah - BYU women’s basketball defeated Monmouth 70-50 Wednesday afternoon behind Lauren Gustin’s career-high 23 rebounds, five Cougars scoring in double figures and efficient three-point shooting.
BYU improves to 5-8 with Wednesday afternoon’s win. Gustin racked up her 12th double-double in 13 games this season (12 points, 23 boards) while the Cougars shot 57 percent (8-of-14) from beyond the arc, their highest mark of the season.
“I’m really impressed with how the girls responded after taking two losses this last weekend,” said BYU head coach Amber Whiting. “Playing three games in five days is tough, but they really came to play today, they really shared the ball and that’s what I was most impressed by.”
Nani Falatea also notched a career-high with eight assists. Among the five Cougars in double-figures were Falatea with 14, Gustin 12, Kaylee Smiler 14, Emma Calvert 11, and Arielle Mackey-Williams led with 15.
Smiler had a career-high in three-point field goals made with four on 4-of-5 shooting from three as she accounted for half of the team’s eight triples.
After two early threes put Monmouth up 6-0, the Cougars found success in the paint as Gustin scored two early buckets to go along with a layup from Smiler.
At the end of the quarter, 10 of BYU’s 13 points were in the paint, compared to just two of the Hawks’ 14. Both teams were effective on the glass, pulling in 11 apiece in the opening quarter.
After trailing 17-13, the Cougars picked up the pace offensively to kickstart on a 16-3 run, capitalizing on Monmouth’s 1-for-12 shooting during the stretch. Gustin continued to show dominance on the boards, pulling in double figures with 12 in the first half alone paired with 8 points to finish just shy of a double-double at halftime.
Reserve guard Mackey-Williams was a huge spark off the bench in the second quarter, scoring all 10 of her points on 4 of 6 shooting. Falatea chipped in seven points as BYU took a 32-23 lead into the half.
Both teams traded buckets over the first few minutes of the third quarter before Smiler hit back-to-back threes and the Cougars got out in the open floor for a fast-break layup by Emma Calvert. The sequence opened a 14-point lead at 45-31 to force a timeout by the Hawks midway through the third quarter.
Immediately following the timeout, BYU would continue to add to its lead, taking a game-high 19-point advantage. Gustin scored her 10th point of the afternoon late in the third quarter to secure her 12th double-double.
Falatea shined in the third quarter, matching her first-half point total with seven points on 3-for-6 shooting.
The Cougars continued to roll in the well-balanced effort during the final period. Smiler knocked down two threes to add to her 14 total points while Gustin matched a career-high in rebounds at 21.
BYU continues its home stand with the second of four games in Provo slated for next Thursday, December 29, when the Cougars host Pacific. Tip is scheduled for 7 pm.m MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and the BYUtv App.
Cougars return to Provo for Monmouth on Wednesday
PROVO, Utah – BYU returns home to host Monmouth in a break from West Coast Conference play on Wednesday at 1 p.m. MST at the Marriott Center. The game will be streamed on the BYUtv App and BYUtv.org.
December is also "Holiday Hoops" month where tickets for all women's basketball home games will be $5 dollars. This includes Dec. 21 vs. Monmouth, Dec. 29 vs. Pacific and Dec. 31 vs. St. Mary's. Visit BYUtickets.com to purchase.
- MONMOUTH (DEC. 21). The Hawks are getting back on the court for the first time in 10 days after suffering a 71-56 defeat vs. Dartmouth Monmouth enters the game 5-5 overall and finishes up its non-conference season at BYU before getting into league play in the Colonial Athletic Association. BYU and Monmouth have never met in women’s basketball.
- LAST GAME. The Cougars had a tough road swing to start West Coast Conference play at Gonzaga and at Portland. BYU fought hard against the No. 23 Zags but fell 67-58 before suffering a 67-45 setback in Portland.
- NEW ERA. BYU has a new head coach in Amber Whiting this year 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.
- DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE. Forward Lauren Gustin continues to be a force down low is No. 2 in double-doubles with 11 in 12 games. Her streak of 11 in a row ended at Portland, but she still finished with 12 boards and seven points. BYU Hall of Famer Tina Gunn Robison began the 1979-80 season with 17 double-doubles in a row, finishing with 27 on the year. Gustin is averaging 15.6 points per game and 13.5 rebounds. She is No. 2 nationally in rebounds per game. The junior from Salem, Utah, is No. 2 in total rebounds with 162. Gustin posted a season-high 20 rebounds against No. 16 Oklahoma.