BYU Women’s Basketball beats Saint Mary‘s 80-63 at home

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BYU Women’s Basketball beats Saint Mary‘s 80-63 at home

BYU Women’s Basketball defeated Saint Mary’s 80-62 at the Marriott Center on Thursday to move to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in West Coast Conference play.

BYU started slow out of the gate, but the Cougars quickly found their rhythm and chemistry to pull away in the second half. All eight victories for BYU have come by 10-or-more points.

BYU had three players score in double digits: Paisley Harding (20), Shaylee Gonzales (19), and forward Lauren Gustin (12). Sara Hamson dominated the paint with eight points and four blocks.

“When you have the energy of your teammates, that’s really what pushed me through,” Harding said after scoring a new season high. “The support from your teammates is great, but you’ve just got to stay focused.”

Paisley Harding looks for a teammate to pass to against Saint Mary’s on Jan. 14. Harding scored a season-high 20 points against the Gaels. (BYU Photo)

Both teams started strong and were tied at 19 after the first quarter. The Gaels had 11 second-chance points from offensive rebounds in the opening period. Four minutes into the second period BYU decided to take a timeout with Saint Mary’s leading 29-23.

At the end of the first half, the Saint Mary’s bench had 16 points, but it was not enough, as BYU led 41-33 after a buzzer-beater from Maria Albiero.

BYU had the biggest lead of the night of 20 points with one minute left in the game and went 11-of-15 from the field in the fourth quarter for a 73% shooting percentage. Malli Perri and Gustin shined in the final period, scoring six and five points for BYU, respectively.

The Cougars attacked the gaps and used each other’s strengths to get ahead, with 21 total assists to just 13 for Saint Mary’s. The Gaels’ point leaders in the game were Madeline Holland (14), Ellie Croco (13) and Taycee Wedin (11), while their bench added 29 points overall.

The next game will be Saturday, Jan. 16 against Pepperdine in Provo at 2 p.m. MST.

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