Cougars rout Santa Clara 76-50
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game and never looked back in a 76-50 win over Santa Clara on Wednesday afternoon in the Marriott Center.
“I think part of it was Sara Hamson’s dominance in the first five minutes, with her blocking shots, being active and not letting the ball get in the paint,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I also thought offensively we did a good job at moving the ball to the open person.”
The combination of Hamson and forward Malli Perri caused a lot of trouble for the Broncos down low. Hamson finished the day with a season-high five blocks and the lengthy duo combined for 12 rebounds. Santa Clara (5-3, 1-1) finished the game with just 16 of its 50 points coming inside the paint.
BYU (6-1, 2-0) guard Shaylee Gonzales hit 8 of 12 shots from the field, scoring a team-high 20 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Forward Lauren Gustin scored 12 points while leading the team in rebounds with 11, 10 of which came on the defensive glass.
Senior guard Maria Albeiro set a new career high with 10 assists to go with seven points and four rebounds. Fellow guard Tegan Graham added eight points while also logging two assists on the day.
The Cougars led the Broncos 24-8 after the first quarter, shooting 10 of 18 from the field and limiting Santa Clara to just 20% on field goals.
BYU held Santa Clara without a field goal for over seven minutes in the second quarter on its way to a season-high 20-point lead at the end of the first half. Gonzales matched the Broncos’ point total in the first half, scoring 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field to go along with two assists and a pair of steals.
Santa Clara cut the lead to 14 in the third quarter before Graham knocked down a three from the wing to end a 10-2 Bronco run. After a bucket from Hamson, Harding drew her second charge of the game to give the ball back to the Cougars. Graham knocked down another three and Gonzales scored a tough basket under the rim to stretch the lead back to 22. The Cougars went on to close out the third quarter strong, leading 61-34.
The Cougars’ late third quarter success carried over to the fourth quarter, as Perri hit a three to extend BYU’s lead to 30. After starting the game just 3 of 17 from deep, Perri’s three topped off a stretch where the team shot 5 of 7 from three.
BYU ended the game shooting 45% from the field and 27% from three. The Cougars out-rebounded the Broncos by four and never trailed.
The Cougars are looking for its first 3-0 start in WCC play since the 2018-19 season as the team travels to San Diego to take on the Toreros (4-3, 1-1) on Monday, Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. PST. The game will be broadcast on the WCC Network.
- Gonzales led all scorers at the break with 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting. She finished the contest with 20 points, a season-high eight rebounds, three assists and two steals
- Hamson tallied season-highs in points (12), rebounds (8) and blocks (5) while also recording a steal in 22 minutes of action
- Gustin tallied 8 points and a team-high 7 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play. She ended the game with her fifth double-double of the season, posting 12 points, 11 rebounds one assist, one steal and one block
- Gustin is now tied for third in the country in double-doubles (5)
- Albiero dished out a career-high 10 assists while also adding seven points, four rebounds and one steal
- Harding recorded eight points, three assists and one rebound in 28 minutes of action.
- Coming off the bench, Graham posted eight points, two assists and one rebound while Malli Perri tallied five points and four rebounds
- In the first half, BYU shot 44% from the floor while holding SCU to 22%. For the game, the Cougars posted a 45% shooting percentage while the Broncos shot 28%
- The Cougars dished out a season-high 21 assists compared to the Broncos’ 10
- BYU outrebounded SCU, 43-39
- The Cougars dominated down low, scoring 26 points to the Broncos’ 16 and posting six blocks to SCU’s two
- BYU forced a season-high 17 turnovers on the game
- The 26-point win was the Cougars’ biggest of the season in terms of point differential
- Coming into the game, Santa Clara was allowing just 55 points per game. The 76 points put up by the Cougars is the new season-high for points allowed by the Broncos, beating the 70 points Santa Clara gave up to Cal Poly earlier this month