BYU Women’s Basketball bounces back with 87-66 road win over Utah State

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BYU Women’s Basketball bounces back with 87-66 road win over Utah State

BYU Women’s Basketball bounced back from a rough outing against Washington to take down Utah State on the road in Logan, beating the Aggies 87-66 to move to 2-1 on the season.

Shaylee Gonzales got back into MVP form with a 27-point outing on 11-for-17 shooting, while also contributing on the defensive end with four steals. Sophomore transfer Lauren Gustin had a breakout game with career highs of 21 points and 17 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. Paisley Harding joined Gonzales and Gustin in double figures with 14 points.

The Cougars jumped out to a 13-3 lead early, with Gonzales coming up with three big steals early to set the tone. The sophomore had eight points after one quarter, helping BYU to a 23-10 lead after the opening period.

Gonzales reached double digits early in the second quarter, extending the BYU lead to 35-23 with five minutes to go before halftime. She had 16 points at the half as BYU led by a comfortable margin, 42-24. Gustin nearly had a double-double in the first half alone with nine points and 10 rebounds. Tegan Graham added seven points for the Cougars off the bench.

BYU shot 42.9% from the field and 36.4% from three in the opening half, while holding USU to 29.4% shooting from the field and 9.1% from three, allowing just one 3-pointer on 11 attempts. The Cougars also had 11 points off of turnovers in the first half to just five for the Aggies.

Shaylee Gonzales defends a Utah State player on Dec. 7 in Logan. Gonzales had four steals in the game and helped hold the Aggies to just one 3-pointer in the first half. (Utah State Athletics)

Harding opened the second half with back-to-back layups to extend the BYU lead to 20, 46-26. She joined Gonzales in double-digit points midway through the third quarter with 10, while Gustin reached her second career double-double as a Cougar with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Gonzales converted an and-one around the five-minute mark to reach the 20-point threshold for the second time this season.

USU momentarily cut the lead to single digits with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Gonzales immediately responded with a layup and an assist to Gustin to make it 63-50 in favor of the Cougars.

Gustin reached a new career high of 16 points in the third quarter to help BYU to a 65-52 lead after three quarters. She also had 13 rebounds, just one shy of her career high, including four offensive, heading into the final period.

Gonzales and Gustin teamed up for a pair of layups early in the 4th quarter to extend the lead to 20 once again, 76-56, as Gustin crossed 20 points for the first time in her young BYU career. Head coach Jeff Judkins elected to rotate out the starters late in the final period with the win secured.

BYU finished with 22 points off of turnovers and an enormous 56-30 lead in points in the paint, thanks in large part to Gustin’s big night on the boards and around the basket.

The Cougars return to Provo next to make their home debut at the Marriott Center against Montana State on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on the BYUtv app.

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