Thursday, March 4, 2021

The BYU women's basketball team celebrates a win at home over Gonzaga on Feb. 18. The Cougars are 9-0 at home this season. (Preston Crawley)

BYU women’s basketball finishes perfect at home with 75-68 win over Portland

The BYU women’s basketball team will finish the regular season undefeated at home after beating Portland 75-68 on Saturday in the Marriott Center for a perfect 9-0 record in Provo.

Shaylee Gonzales finished with 26 points and three assists, while Lauren Gustin had a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Paisley Harding finished with 18 points, four rebounds and six assists and Tegan Graham scored eight points and had five assists.

“Shaylee had a great game tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “She just took over and did so many things. You are going to give the team credit, me credit, but when it comes down to it, it was her. She came in and took shots and made baskets, and did some things that made me as a coach look smart.”

“We were on a cloud nine after that Gonzaga game but we knew that coming into this Portland game we couldn’t look over them,” Gonzales said, ” Portland is tough. They won the WCC last year and we knew it was going to be a dog fight and knew that we needed to come in and work our butts off.”

Both teams came out strong in the first quarter, with three 3-pointers in a row from the Pilots and a three from Harding, who had 10 points at the end of the first quarter. Gustin made strong moves down low to give BYU the lead, 12-11. Harding sunk another three followed by a block by Sara Hamson. Baskets from Gustin and Harding gave the Cougars a four-point lead, 18-14.

The first quarter ended 20-14 with a buzzer-beater layup from Harding.  

“Tonight we had to be mentally focused,” Gustin said. “We are all a little tired and in the locker room we were dialed in.” 

Graham got on the board in the second quarter with a long two, making the score 22-18 in favor of BYU.

Gonzales said that Graham brought the energy tonight as she does every game.

Portland came back with a steal and converted an and-one to make the score 22-21, down by just one, but BYU followed that up with a jumper by Graham to go ahead 24-21.

The Pilots got a bucket over Hamson and then hit a three to take the lead, 26-24.

Gonzales started to get going after that, capping off a run with a made 3-pointer to give BYU the lead again, 33-29.

At halftime, BYU had 19 rebounds and Gustin had nine of them, to go along with four assists and eight points. Harding had 10 points and Gonzales added seven to the scoreboard.

BYU scored 25 points and held Portland to just 15 in a fast-paced third quarter.

The Cougars had their largest lead of the night at 10, 57-47, going into the fourth quarter.

Gonzales had 10 points in the final period, starting it off with a three on an assist from Harding.

Harding got BYU back to a 10-point lead, 66-55, with a layup, followed by a jumper from Graham.

“It’s been a great week, but we are a little banged up,” Gustin said. “But we couldn’t have asked for a better week.”

BYU travels to the Bay Area to take on Santa Clara and San Francisco next week to close out the regular season.

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