Harding's 30 drops San Francisco 99-58


PROVO, Utah – Led by senior Paisley Harding's second 30-point game of the year, the No. 16 BYU women's basketball team beat up on the San Francisco Dons with a 99-58 win on Saturday at the Marriott Center. 

“Ball movement and player movement was key tonight,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “This team can score and it was just a great performance overall, so I’m really proud of them. These girls came out ready to play today.”

Harding led the scoring for the Cougars (18-1, 8-0) with 30 points on 11 of 17 shooting, including 5 of 7 from behind the arc. Shaylee Gonzales posted 18 points and seven rebounds. Gonzales added four made triples, helping the team tie its season high with 13 makes from downtown.

Lauren Gustin notched her 10th double-double this season with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Maria Albiero was a distribution machine with a season-high nine assists, leading the charge for the squad that posted 26 assists on 37 made baskets. 

The Cougar also held San Francisco (10-11, 4-5) to just 28.1 percent from the field. BYU outrebounded the Dons 48-34 and owned the paint with a 40-12 advantage. 

Box Score

First Half
Harding started the scoring for the Cougars with two driving layups off fast breaks. Gonzales pulled up for two three-pointers to get on the board and put BYU ahead of San Francisco 10-5 in the first five minutes of play. 

After a steal from senior guard Albiero, Gonzales scored another driving layup to push the Cougars lead to 10 points over the Dons with three minutes to go in the first quarter. BYU ended the first quarter leading USF 28-13 with the help of four Cougars' three-pointers. 

Gustin got the Cougars to a fast start in the second quarter with two quick baskets. With a 6-0 run over the Dons, BYU continued to push with another three-pointer from the corner by Nani Falatea. 

The Cougars finished the first half shooting 58 percent from the field going 21 of 36 and 71 percent from the three-point line going 10 of 14. Harding led the Cougars with 21 points including four three-pointers. Gonzales added 13 points and four assists for BYU as they went into the locker room ahead of the Dons 53-33.

Second Half 
BYU started the second half with a 6-0 run over the San Francisco. Tegan Graham drove to the basket and drew a foul for a three-point play to put the score at 61-36 in the first three minutes of the half. 

Two back-to-back layups off Cougar fast breaks by Gustin and Gonzales brought the energy to the Marriott Center in the third quarter. After a two minute scoring drought for BYU, Harding notched another three to put the Cougars ahead by 28 points going into the final quarter.

Sara Hamson put up the first points in the final quarter with a jumper assisted by Albiero. A block by Hamson and another three by Gonzales put the Cougars ahead by 30 points with six minutes left in regulation. 

With three minutes left to go, Falatea hit another three-pointer, marking 100 total threes made this season at the Marriott Center by the Cougars. BYU continued to pull ahead after a 16-2 run over the Dons that put them up by 40 points. 

The Cougars shot 52 percent from the field and 48 percent from the three-point line to beat the Dons 99-58. BYU had 26 points off the bench and capitalized on 15 opponent turnovers for 15 points.

Up next, BYU takes on one of the most difficult road swings of the season, visiting Portland (13-4, 3-2) on Thursday, Feb. 3 and at Gonzaga (15-4, 6-0) on Saturday, Feb. 5.