Paisley Harding drives against Florida State on Thursday. (BYU Women's Basketball)

Cougars gobble up steals in 61-54 win over No. 17 Florida State

The BYU women’s basketball team gave Cougar fans plenty to be grateful for on Thanksgiving, forcing 25 turnovers and picking up 14 steals in a 61-54 win over No. 17 Florida State Thursday in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Superstar guard Shaylee Gonzales led the way in a tough, defensive matchup for BYU, putting up 24 points, including going 10-of-11 from the free-throw line, and swiping five steals as well.

Maria Albiero joined Gonzales in double digits with 10 points and Lauren Gustin put up six points and 11 rebounds.

BYU got out to an early 6-0 lead, but the Seminoles came back to take the lead, 11-9. The Cougars took the lead, 17-16, at the end of the first quarter on a jumper from Albiero and never gave it up.

The Seminoles went on a 5-0 run to close the first half, bringing them within four, 32-28, at the break. Gonzales led the Cougars with 15 points at halftime.

The game remained tight in the third quarter, but BYU pulled away in the fourth, leading by as many as 13 points. The Seminoles attempted a comeback late in the game, bringing the game back within four points, 58-54, in the final two minutes.

A pair of missed free throws and a missed layup forced FSU to foul late, however, and Gonzales made three of four free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

BYU advances in the St. Pete Showcase to face No. 22 Virginia on Saturday at 11 a.m. MST.

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