Josh Carter | Posted: 9 Feb 2021 | Updated: 20 Feb 2021

Strong Finish Lifts BYU Over Pepperdine 57-43

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MALIBU, Calif. — BYU women’s basketball gave up just two points in the final quarter to secure a 57-43 win over Pepperdine Tuesday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.

“It was a good win,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Even though we didn’t play to our full potential tonight we sure defended. Sara (Hamson) took the middle away and we did a really good job of fighting through ball screens. I’m happy for the team being able to fight through a game like this.”

BYU at Pepperdine Final Box Score

The Cougars (12-3, 8-2) led by as many as 17 points in the opening period before the Waves (3-13, 0-12) fought back to within four at the end of the third quarter. Fueled by 11 fourth-quarter points from Paisley Johnson Harding, BYU then outscored Pepperdine 12-2 in the final period to seal the win.

Harding led all scorers with 20 points, knocking down 5 of her 10 three-point attempts, to go along with five assists and a season-high five rebounds. Shaylee Gonzales filled the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block, while Lauren Gustin had a game-high 10 rebounds and eight points.

Hamson tallied nine blocks on the night, tying her career high, while adding five rebounds, a pair of steals and two points.

An Albiero trey from the left wing capped a 7-0 BYU run to start the game. The Cougars continued to dominate early on both sides of the floor, as a pair of 3-pointers by Graham and another from Harding gave BYU a 22-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The Cougars held Pacific to just 15.4% shooting from the floor during the first 10 minutes.

The Waves tightened things up in the second quarter, using a 10-2 run to cut BYU’s lead to six, 24-18. The Cougars, however, caught fire from distance to end the half as Harding drained a pair of deep 3-pointers from the right wing and Gonzales added another from the top of the key. Harding then found a cutting Hamson for a lay-in just before the break to give BYU a 35-24 halftime lead.

Layups by Gustin and Gonzales put the Cougars up 14 early in the third but a 14-4 Pepperdine run brought the Waves within four, 45-41, heading into the final period.

Harding continued her hot shooting from deep to start the fourth, knocking down a pair of triples to extend BYU’s advantage to 12, 53-41. A Harding midrange jumper then put the Cougars up 15, 56-41, with 2:44 left. BYU gave up just two points throughout the entire fourth quarter, as a Harding free throw sealed the 57-43 Cougar win.

BYU continues its three-game road trip this week as it takes on Pacific on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. PST. The contest will be streamed live on the WCC Network.

Player Notes

  • Harding dropped 20 points on 6 of 14 shooting, tying her season high. She tied her career high with five 3-pointers, going 5 of 10 from deep, and added five assists and a season-high five rebounds
  • Gonzales contributed 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 40 minutes of play
  • Hamson tied her career high with nine blocks, six of which came in the second half. This is the fifth time in Hamson’s career that she has recorded nine blocks in a single game
  • Gustin had a near-double-double, tallying a game-high 10 rebounds and eight points in 35 minutes of action
  • Graham chipped in eight points, all of which came in the first quarter, to go along with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block

Team Notes

  • Fueled by Hamson’s nine blocked shots, BYU tallied a season-high 11 blocks on the night
  • The two fourth-quarter points allowed by the Cougars is the lowest they have given up in a single quarter this season
  • The Waves' 43 total points scored is the lowest by a BYU opponent this season
  • BYU shot 32% from the floor while holding Pepperdine to 30%
  • The Cougars won the rebound (43-34) and assist (18-6) battles
  • Both teams scored 16 points in the paint
  • The Cougars forced 14 Waves turnovers, giving up nine of their own, and scored 13 points off takeaways
  • BYU led throughout the entire ballgame
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