BYU caps off perfect home season record with win over Portland
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball capped off an undefeated home record on the 2020-21 season with a 75-68 victory over Portland on Saturday.
"I'm really proud of these girls," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "They fought through the game with their minds and bodies. We were driven on a few times tonight that I know we wouldn't have been driven on with fresh legs. I'm proud of them for sticking it out. Portland's a good team."
BYU's (16-3, 12-2) win marked the first time the team has gone undefeated at home throughout an entire regular season since the 2015-16 campaign. The Cougars won all nine of their home matchups this season and have now won 16 consecutive games in the Marriott Center, dating back to January 2020.
BYU shot 52% from the field against Portland (10-11, 7-8) as three different Cougars scored in double figures, including Shaylee Gonzales, who finished with a game-high 26 points, three assists, one steal and one rebound. Paisley Johnson Harding added 18 points and a team-high six assists while Lauren Gustin recorded her 12th double-double of the season with 17 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high five assists.
BYU held the Pilots to 44% shooting, including 35% from beyond the arc. The Cougars were proficient in the paint, outscoring the Pilots 46-28 down low.
Both teams started off with hot shooting from three, as the Pilots secured an early lead, 9-6, before either team scored a two-pointer. Harding’s two layups at the end of the first quarter gave BYU a 20-14 lead.
Portland quickly came back at the start of the second, going up 29-24 as the Cougars had a four-minute scoring drought. Portland then had their own three-minute scoring drought, as a stifling BYU defense allowed the Cougars to regain the lead and finish the half up 33-31.
Harding led BYU with 10 first half points, while Gustin had 10 boards and four assists at the break.
The Cougars began the second half in similar fashion to the first, with a 3-pointer from Harding. Gonzales made a layup to put BYU up 38-31 before a Portland triple brought the score to 38-34 for the Cougars. BYU then outscored Portland 19-13, fueled by eight points from Gustin and five from Gonzales, to finish the third quarter up 10, 57-47.
Portland made the first basket of the fourth quarter, but BYU answered, maintaining an 11-point lead thanks to Gonzales’ two jumpers and a 3-pointer. Portland fought back, however, as Pilot guard Haylee Andrews scored all 16 of her points in the final quarter to tighten things up.
BYU’s lead was cut to five, 68-63, with 1:45 remaining in regulation, before a driving layup by Gonzales gave the Cougars some breathing room. BYU extended its lead back to 10, 73-63, before Portland's Andrews made another triple to cut BYU’s lead to seven. Following a pair of free throws on both sides of the court in the final seconds, BYU came away with the 75-68 win.
The Cougars will close out the regular season with a pair of road matchups next week against Santa Clara and San Francisco. BYU will first take on the Broncos on Thursday, Feb. 25 on the WCC Network.
- Gonzales led all scorers with 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting to go along with three assists, one rebound and one steal
- Gustin tallied her 12th double-double of the season with 17 points, a game-high 16 rebounds, a career-high five assists and two steals
- Harding filled the stat sheet with 18 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals
- Tegan Graham scored eight points on 4 of 9 shooting off the bench while adding five assists, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks
- Sara Hamson had four rebounds, two points, one assist, one block and one steal
- The Cougars’ sealed an undefeated home record this season (9-0) with the win over Portland. BYU has now won 16 consecutive games in the Marriott Center, dating back to January 2020
- The Cougars’ win marked the first time the team has gone undefeated at home throughout an entire regular season since the 2015-16 campaign
- BYU shot 52% from the floor, including 28% from three, while Portland shot at a 44% clip from the floor and 35% from distance
- The Cougars dominated down low, scoring 46 points in the paint to the Pilots’ 28
- BYU out-rebounded Portland 39-25
- The Cougars dished out a season-high 23 assists to the Pilots’ 18 and had nine steals to Portland’s seven
- The Pilots tallied 16 bench points to BYU’s 10 and had 12 fast break points to the Cougars’ seven