Paisley Harding drives into the paint. (Decker Westenburg)

BYU women’s basketball mauls San Francisco 99-58

It was just another day at the office for No. 16 women’s basketball Saturday, annihilating the San Francisco Dons 99-58, led by a 30-point performance from Paisley Harding.

The BYU marketing team went all out in the pre-game introductions with a curtain drop and hype video to give the Cougars one of the best environments at the Marriott Center this season.

The audio cut out at one point during the video, but the ROC section filled in the silence with a “let’s go Cougars” chant to help keep the energy going until the sound came back on.

As soon as the ball was tipped, the Cougars (18-1, 8-0 WCC) never looked back. BYU was on fire from three, shooting 13-of-27 for 48% and 52% from the field overall in the game.

Harding shot 5-of-7 from 3-point range and 11-of-17 from the field in her second 30-point outing of the season. She was a perfect 4-of-4 from downtown in the first half, helping the Cougars run away with a 28-13 first quarter.

Near the end of the first quarter, Harding stepped in front of a San Francisco pass for a steal in transition and ended up tumbling over the scorer’s table. She quickly recovered, however, and continued to lead the potent Cougar offense.

Shaylee Gonzales moves the ball up the floor against San Francisco. (Gabrielle Shiozawa)

Shaylee Gonzales also contributed to the red-hot offense in the first half, scoring 13 points, while also going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 5-of-9 from the field, including a buzzer-beater layup at the end of the first quarter. Gonzales finished the game with 18 points, four 3-pointers and went 7-of-15 from the field.

San Francisco (10-11, 3-5 WCC) gave the Cougars some fits in the early minutes of the game, with a couple of threes and intense defense, but it simply wasn’t enough to stop the WCC’s first-place team. Lauren Gustin had another double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, acting as BYU’s enforcer in the paint.

BYU head coach Jeff Judkins called the win one of the team’s “best all-around games,” and one of Harding’s best games of the season as well. “When we get a crowd like this, this team is hard to beat here.”

The BYU bench got solid production from Nani Falatea, going 3-of-3 from downtown, while Emma Calvert put up six points.

BYU remains undefeated in conference play, while also winning its 10th game in a row overall. The Cougars hit the road next week, playing Portland on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m MST.

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