No. 16 Cougars take down Santa Clara 76-44
PROVO, Utah – No. 16 BYU took down Santa Clara 76-44 Thursday night to win its extend its winning streak to a season-high nine games and move to 17-1 on the year, 7-0 in WCC play.
"Our team is just really good," said senior guard Tegan Graham. "We have so many threats and the other team has to decide who they want to take away. Our bench is incredibly deep, we all know our role and we do our role really well."
Twelve different players scored on a night where BYU shot 46 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from three-point land and a perfect 8 for 8 from the free-throw line in the 32-point win. The Cougars have won six of their last nine games by 20 or more points and have won 26 straight games at the Marriott Center.
BYU forced 23 turnovers, snagging 16 steals which ties its season high turned those turnovers into 23 points.
Graham led the Cougars with 16 points on 6 of- 0 shooting, going 3 of 6 from behind the arc. Graham also tallied four assists and two steals in the win.
Shaylee Gonzales went 6 for 12 from the field for 13 points, grabbed three rebounds, five steals and posted a season-high nine assists.
Lauren Gustin started the scoring for the Cougars with a driving layup in the first minute of play. BYU extended their lead with the help of a Paisley Harding three-pointer and steals by senior Gonzales and senior Sara Hamson.
After an 8-0 BYU run, the Cougars finished the first quarter leading 21-9 over the Broncos.
The Cougars got off to a hot start in the second quarter with a top-of-the-key three from sophomore Kaylee Smiler, assisted by freshman Nani Falatea. After a steal, Gonzales drove down the lane making the layup with some contact and made the free-throw to complete the three-point play. That gave the Cougars a 36-12 lead with 5:29 to play in the half.
With a block by freshman Emma Calvert and another Cougar three-pointer by Maria Albiero, BYU took a 45-19 lead into the locker room. BYU’s full-court press resulted in 11 steals and 16 Bronco turnovers in the first half.
The Cougars shot an impressive 57 percent from the field going 17 of 30 and 40 percent from the three-point line in the first half. BYU was also perfect from the charity stripe going 7 of 7. Santa Clara shot 33 percent from the field and the three-point line in the opening 20 minutes.
Graham hit two threes to start the second half for the Cougars. Graham continued to shine as she drove to the basket for another BYU three-point play to extend the lead to 50-25 with 6:51 left in the third.
After a 6-0 run by the Cougars, the lead was extended again with five minutes left in the third quarter. Sara Hamson had two blocks in the third to assist in BYU’s 63-33 lead over Santa Clara.
Freshman Rose Bubakar hit two three's from the top of the key to start the final quarter for the Cougars.
BYU's bench scored 25 points in the 76-44 win.
The Cougars host San Francisco on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on BYUtv.
BYU women's basketball is back in action Saturday at San Diego to take on the Toreros at 2 p.m. PT at the Jenny Craig…