Cougars advance to second round of NCAA tournament after 73-64 win over Auburn
STANFORD, Calif. – The seventh-seed BYU women’s basketball team earned a 73-64 win over 10th-seed Auburn in the first round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday.
"I was getting a little nervous but I thought we handled the pressure until right at the end there," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Part of it was we lost Paisley and she was a good outlet. I don't have the inside presence [like our 2014 tournament team], but we have three guards that are more capable of scoring in different ways as well as a deep bench."
"This was a great win for our team and am happy for our players," added Judkins. "Auburn is a very good team and they were a lot quicker than we saw on film."
Brenna Chase led the team with 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds, three blocks and one steal. Shaylee Gonzales contributed 17 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Caitlyn Alldredge added 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal.
In the first quarter, the Tigers took control early as they scored a trey for the first basket of the game and went on to take a 9-4 lead with 4:28 on the clock. Chase and Shalae Salmon combined for an 8-0 run to end the first period as the Cougars took a 15-13 lead.
Maria Albiero drained three free throws while Alldredge and Chase each added a bucket from behind the arc to give BYU a 24-18 advantage half way through the second period. Auburn rallied to cut into the deficit and a last second jumper sent the teams into the locker room with the Cougars on top 28-26.
BYU started out the second half strong as five-straight points from Alldredge gave the Cougars a double-digit lead, 41-31, with 5:40 remaining on the clock in the third quarter.
A layup by Chase gave BYU a 13-point advantage, its largest lead of the game. A 3-pointer by the Tigers cut into the deficit but Alldredge answered with a layup on a fast break to keep the Cougars on top 51-39 going into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, a trey from Paisley Johnson extended the BYU lead to 56-41 with 8:24 left to play.
Auburn responded with an 11-1 run to bring the score to 65-61 with two minutes remaining in the game. A pair of points from the charity stripe by Chase and a layup by Gonzales kept the Cougars in control, 69-61. BYU hit four free throws in the remaining seconds to secure its win.
On the game, the Cougars shot 47.5 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from 3 and 60.0 percent from the free throw line. The Tigers recorded 32.0 percent from the field, 14.8 percent from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe.
BYU advances to the second round and will take on the winner of Stanford and UC Davis on Monday, Mar. 25.
With the 73-64 win over Auburn in the first round of the NCAA tournament, BYU improved its record to 26-6 on the season and extended its win streak to nine games.
In the first half of play, Auburn pulled down 27 rebounds compared to BYU’s 20. The Tigers finished the contest with the advantage 46 to 39.
For the 14th time on the year, BYU had three players score in double figures. Brenna Chase (19), Shaylee Gonzales (17) and Caitlyn Alldredge (14).
At halftime, the Cougars had recorded four blocks. The Tigers had none. For the game, BYU had the edge getting seven blocks in the game. Auburn recorded one.
BYU had five assists in the first half to Auburn’s six. At the conclusion of the game, the Cougars had the advantage dishing out 15 assists to the Tigers' 10.
On the game, BYU shot 47.9 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from 3-point range and 60 percent from the free throw line.
Junior guard Brenna Chase led all scorers in the first half with 10 points, two rebounds and two blocks. She tied for game highs in points with 19 along with seven assists. Chase also had three blocks, four rebounds and one steal.
Freshman Shaylee Gonzales led the way in rebounds through the first 20 minutes of action for the Cougars, pulling down seven. She finished the game with a team-best nine rebounds along with 17 points, three assists and two steals.
Sophomore center Sara Hamson tied in team blocks with two at halftime. She finished with a game-high four along with eight rebounds, four points and one assist.
Senior Caitlyn Alldredge tallied a career-high 14 points along with three rebounds and three assists. The assists tied for career bests.