PROVO, Utah – Four players scored in double figures as BYU women's basketball dominated Colorado Mesa 86-68 Thursday night.
Senior Cassie Broadhead Devashrayee led the team with 16 points and a game-high six assists, while shooting 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.
“Colorado Mesa is a well-coached team and they run their plays well,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “You saw tonight that we can score. We have some great shooters and Shalae (Salmon) is a great post player that gives us that inside presence. We have perimeter players that can shoot it, so I was happy about a lot of things.”
BYU had three other starters in double figures, including a strong paint performance from Salmon, who blocked three shots, grabbed 11 boards and scored 10 points to notch a double-double. Sophomore Brenna Chase went 4 of 6 from behind the arc, added 12 points and five assists. Malia Nawahine was also hot from three, shooting 50 percent to finish with 11 points.
The game started with a quick layup from CMU’s Ma’ata Epenisa to score the first points of the game. BYU’s Nawahine answered right back with a quick 3 to put the Cougars ahead 3-2, a lead they maintained the rest of the game. Both teams traded baskets through the first few minutes until Chase got into a groove behind the arc. Her hot hand started with a 3 at 7:27 to put BYU up 8-4. Chase drilled two-consecutive 3s with about four minutes left in the period to help the Cougars take a commanding 17-6 lead on a 12-0 run. The Mavericks tried to narrow the gap, ending the first period down 26-14.
Sophomore Liz Eaton came off the bench to start the second quarter, scoring the first two baskets and giving BYU a 30-16 advantage. CMU clawed its way back, cutting the lead to 11, 42-31, with a minute left in the half. Nawahine then hit a big 3 to swing momentum back the Cougars' way to end the half 47-33.
In the third period, BYU's strong defense allowed CMU to only score three points through the first eight minutes. With 3:00 on the clock, the Cougars had their largest lead of the night, up 25 points, 62-37. The Mavericks' Erin Reichle drilled a few 3s to spark her team at the end of the period, narrowing the gap by 16, 65-49.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter, CMU trailed by only 15 points, 67-52, but a big 3 from Devashrayee helped BYU maintain control of the game. With six minutes left, she stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for an and-one lay-in, putting the Cougars up 73-55. BYU continued its dominance for the remainder of the game.
The Cougars will open the season hosting Southern Utah, Friday, Nov. 10, at the Marriott Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MST.
BYU led Colorado Mesa 47-33 at the end of the first half after going 17 for 27 from the field, including 8 of 11 from 3-point range, and shot 63.0 percent through 20 minutes of action. The Mavericks shot 40.7 percent, going 11 of 27 from the field. BYU had 15 assists, five steals and six turnovers.
The Cougars finished the game shooting 50.9 percent from the field while the Mavericks shot 37.3 percent overall. BYU had 23 assists while Colorado Mesa dished out 16. The Cougars outrebounded the Mavericks 39 to 32 and led them in blocks 5-2.
Eleven Cougars put points on the board, with four scoring in double digits.
Cassie Broadhead Devashrayee led BYU with 16 points and went 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. She dished out a game-high six assists, recorded three steals and went a perfect 8 for 8 from the charity stripe.
Brenna Chase scored all 12 of her points in the first quarter, sparking the Cougars’ offensive output. Her first nine points came on three-consecutive 3-pointers. Chase also had five assists and three steals.
Malia Nawahine put up 11 points in her BYU debut, including three 3-pointers. She added three assists and three rebounds.
Shalae Salmon posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cougars’ defensive effort. She also contributed three blocks.