PORTLAND – The No. 16 BYU women’s basketball team suffered a 75-64 loss at Portland on Thursday night despite a ferocious comeback effort in the fourth quarter.
BYU (18-2, 8-1) trailed by as many as 14 in the game and came back to retake the lead with just over two minutes to go in the game but Portland (14-4, 4-2) fought back and finished off the upset. The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak and marked the first loss in West Coast Conference play for the Cougars.
BYU had four players score in double figures, led by Shaylee Gonzales’ 16 points. Paisley Harding scored 13 and Lauren Gustin and Tegan Graham each had 12 points. Gustin also added eight rebounds.
Portland outrebounded the Cougars 28-25 and shot 54 percent for the game. The Pilots also forced BYU into an uncharacteristic 20 turnovers with a full-court press for most of the game.
Portland led by as many as six early on but BYU tied it up at 16-16 after Sara Hamson knocked in her second jumper. After surrendering a two, the Cougars tied it up with a deep two from Kaylee Smiler, finishing the first quarter tied 18-18.
Turnovers plagued BYU in the second quarter and the Pilots went back in front at 27-20 before Graham buried a trey from the top of the arc with 5:17 to go until the break.
In the closing few minutes of the half BYU was unable to get things going and fell behind 39-27.
Portland pushed its lead to 44-31 in the opening minutes of the second half but back-to-back layups from Gonzales chipped away at the lead and another three from Graham made it 46-38 with 5:11 to go in the third quarter.
BYU trailed 53-42 heading into the final quarter.
The Cougar defense put the clamps down to start the fourth quarter, picking up three consecutive stops to spark a Gustin layup, two free throws from Harding and a full-court pass from Graham to Gonzales made for an easy layup cut the lead down to 53-48 with just over eight minutes to go.
Gustin went into her bag of post moves again and made it 55-52 with 6:44 remaining. After Gonzales drew a double team, Maria Albiero was open for a triple, cutting it to 57-55 at the six minute mark.
BYU took the lead on Harding’s made triple to go ahead 62-61 but Portland took it back on the next possession with a two and never gave it up again, winning it 75-64 after making free throws to close it out.
The Cougars travel to Spokane to play at Gonzaga on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on SWX Live, ROOT Sports NW and streamed on the WCC Network.