Lauren Gustin handles the ball in the paint against San Francisco. (BYU Women's Basketball)

BYU women’s basketball gets 76-64 road win over San Francisco to open WCC play

No. 18 BYU women’s basketball dominated the San Francisco Dons on Thursday, winning 76-64 in the Cougars’ West Coast Conference opener and improving their record to 11-1.

BYU took control of the game right from the start, winning the tip-off and never looking back or losing the lead. Through the first half, the Cougars outscored the Dons 39-22.

Paisley Harding ended up being the driving offensive force for the Cougars, finishing the first half with a buzzer-beater drive and leading all scorers with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Lauren Gustin added her well-earned seventh double-double this season with 16 points and 14 rebounds, to go along with an 88.8% field goal percentage.

Shaylee Gonzales and Maria Albiero both added nine points of their own, though Gonzales was largely stifled by a strong USF defense and fell short of her 19-point average on the season.

Tegan Graham also faced a cold night, scoring just five points and making one 3-pointer on the evening.

Even with the difficulties, BYU was able to dig deep into its bench, with 12 players seeing the court and allowing younger players to gain some valuable experience. As a team, BYU made 31 of its 68 of its field goal attempts and out-rebounded USF 50-28.

The Dons leading scorer was Jasmine Gayles, who earned 22 points and six rebounds. Claudia Langarita put up 15 points and Kennedy Dickie had 14.

This game was BYU’s first conference game after having their last two games against San Diego and Portland postponed due to COVID pauses. Women’s hoops’ next game will be Saturday, Jan. 8 in the Marriott Center at 2 p.m. MST, when the Cougars face the Pacific Tigers.

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