PROVO, Utah — No. 20 BYU women’s basketball ran away with a 104-53 win over Pepperdine at the Marriott Center on Thursday, earning BYU head coach Jeff Judkins’ 450th career win.
“We were really able to get out in transition tonight,” Judkins said. “When Pepperdine decided to full-court press, it allowed us to push the tempo and gave the girls a lot of opportunities to score, which they love to do.”
The Cougars’ 51-point victory is the largest margin of victory this season. BYU scored 37 fast-break points and 58 points in the paint, recording 32 assists on 40 made field goals on the night.
Led by Paisley Harding’s 22 points, the Cougars shot a blistering 63 percent from the field and 53 percent from beyond the arc. Including Harding, four BYU players finished in double figures. Tegan Graham poured in 18 points, shooting 4 of 6 from deep, and both Shaylee Gonzales and Lauren Gustin added 16 points each.
Gonzales added a career-high 13 assists and posted her first double-double of the year and fifth of her career. Gustin posted her 12th double-double of the season with 10 rebounds.
Defensively, BYU held Pepperdine to 32 percent shooting, including 22 percent from 3-point range. The Cougars also forced 19 Waves’ turnovers, recording 12 steals and nine blocks.
Graham kicked off the scoring for BYU with a short corner jumper. Harding scored on a fast-break layup, and Gonzales knocked down a pair of free throws to open up a 6-0 lead before Pepperdine scored a press-breaking fast-break layup of their own. Layups by Gustin, Graham, Maria Albiero and Gonzales then made it 14-6 midway through the quarter, forcing a Waves timeout.
The Cougars scored on a fast-break euro-step layup by Gonzales, two Gustin layups, a Harding layup, another Gonzales pair from the charity stripe and a Sarah Hamson layup before a Waves 3-pointer broke an 8-0 BYU run. Harding knocked down a transition trey to give BYU an 18-point lead, 29-11 through the first 10 minutes.
Graham started the second quarter hitting a baseline three before Nani Falatea got a steal and fast-break layup. Gonzales scored on the break off a Kaylee Smiler assist, and after Graham free throws and another Gonzales layup, the Cougars led 40-15.
Harding laid it in off an inbounds play, Albiero hit Gonzales for yet another fast-break layup, Gustin scored in the paint and a Harding layup gave BYU a 48-24 advantage. After the Waves went on a 5-0 run, Hamson got a baby hook to go and Harding hit two free throws, taking a 52-33 lead into the half.
After a scoreless minute by both teams to open the half, Gustin got a layup off pick-and-roll action with Gonzales, who scored on a put-back layup the next possession down. Graham hit a triple in transition before Gustin scored on the break off an Albiero assist, putting BYU up 63-37 and forcing a Pepperdine timeout.
Back-to-back treys by Graham, two Harding free throws, 3-pointers by Harding and Nani Falatea, and two Gustin layups capped a 22-0 Cougar run and gave BYU a then game-high 46-point lead at 83-37. Holding for the final shot of the quarter, Albiero scored a driving layup to lead 85-41 heading into the fourth.
Arielle Mackey-Williams hit two free throws to start the final quarter and then Emma Calvert and Rose Bubakar each split a pair. Mackey-Williams scored the Cougars’ first field goal of the quarter, knocking down a three from the top of the arc.
Bubakar then hit a floater, Devry Millett scored on a fast break, and then Mackey-Williams scored from deep on the left wing to surpass the century mark. Calvert scored twice in the final minute, on a layup and short corner jumper, to close out the 104-53 victory.
The Cougars will travel to Moraga, California, for a matchup at St. Mary’s on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. PST. The game will be streamed on the WCC Network.