Harding, Graham Lead BYU Past LMU 69-50
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball continued its defense of the Marriott Center with a 69-50 handling of Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon.
Behind the balanced play of starters and bench alike, the Cougars moved to 11-3 on the season, 7-2 in the WCC and earned their 14th consecutive home win, dating back to Jan. 11 of last season.
“We have a lot of different players who can step up with their matchups,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “The other night it was Lauren (Gustin). Tonight, I thought Tegan (Graham) did a really good job. Sara (Hamson) was really active, Paisley (Johnson Harding) did a good job with her matchups. That’s what makes this team so good.”
BYU’s backcourt led the way against LMU (5-11, 4-7), with senior guard Paisley Johnson Harding scoring a team-high 14 points, graduate transfer Tegan Graham adding 13 points off the bench and sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales stuffing the stat sheet with eight points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals, and a block.
Forward Lauren Gustin added six points and six rebounds, giving her a week’s total of 37 points and 36 rebounds over three games.
“We’re all threats on the court,” Graham said. “We have a lot of different weapons and a lot of different skills. I think it’s really hard when we’re moving the ball like that to try and take away what we want.”
Early in the game, LMU kept things close behind the shooting of guard Chelsey Gipson. It was BYU’s scoring in the paint and on fast-breaks that fueled a 13-4 run to finish the first half with a 37-21 lead.
BYU dominated around the basket at both ends of the floor on Saturday, scoring 32 points in the paint while holding LMU to just eight and out-rebounding the Lions, 45-33.
Led by four steals from Gonzales, the Cougars scored 19 points on fast-breaks, 14 of which were recorded in the first half.
During the second half, BYU raced ahead to a 61-36 advantage and closed the game with valuable playing time for freshmen such as Kyra Beckman and Tahlia White.
The Cougars will return to action with road games next week at Pacific and Saint Mary’s on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Both games will be streamed live on the WCC Network.
- Graham knocked down three of her four 3-point attempts and scored 13 points while adding four rebounds and an assist in 20 minutes of action off the bench
- Harding scored a team-high 14 points on 5 of 10 shooting and added three assists and two rebounds
- Gonzales stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, eight rebounds, a team-high six assists, a team-high four steals and a block in 28 minutes of action. Her eight rebounds and six assists both tied her season-highs
- Hamson racked up nine points, five rebounds, two blocks, one steal and one assist in 16 minutes of action
- Albiero chipped in nine points, three rebounds and an assist in a team-high 34 minutes of play
- Gustin contributed six points, six rebounds and three assists
- Twelve different Cougars checked into the game, with nine scoring
- BYU shot 42% from the floor, 33% from three and 78% from the free-throw line
- The Cougars held LMU to just 25.5% shooting from the floor, the lowest by a BYU opponent this season
- Fueled by Graham’s 13 points, the Cougars tallied 23 bench points compared to the Lions’ 13
- BYU dominated the paint, scoring 32 points inside the key to LMU’s 8
- The Cougars won the rebound (45-33) and assist (20-10) battles
- BYU recorded 19 fast-break points compared to the Lions’ 11