BYU women’s basketball wins big at home against LMU

The Cougars played a dominant second quarter and never looked back as they beat the LMU Lions at home 67-42 on Saturday.

BYU was glad to get back to their winning ways after losing 3 straight contests, including a heart-breaking overtime loss to Pepperdine on Thursday, but head coach Amber Whiting said that her girls stayed focus and ready for LMU, a struggling team who came in losing eight of their last 9 games.

“The girls showed so much fight and so much character on bouncing back after that Thursday [loss],” coach Whiting said after the game. “They very easily could have folded, but they showed who they really are and I was really proud of them.”

The first quarter got off to a slow start for both teams as BYU and LMU each went through large scoring droughts. The visiting team seemed to get good looks at times but nothing could drop for the Lions as they went on to shoot only 8% in the quarter while the Cougars eventually got things going.

A big reason for BYU’s jump in offensive production was none other than Lauren Gustin, who finished the night with 21 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists, marking her 23rd double-double on the year. Throughout the second quarter and beyond, it seemed like no Lion defender could stop her in the paint, but on top of that, Gustin had balanced help on the outside to keep LMU at bay.

Sophomore forward, Rose Bubakar got shots to drop for her early as she ended the game with 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting, including 2-for-3 from deep.

“We definitely just brought it together, it started with the energy, but it also started with not rushing and not taking bad shots,” Bubakar said, “we try to work for the best shot in each possession.”

The team looked completely in sync and the statistics back it up. BYU finished with a season-high 21 assists and held LMU to their second-lowest scoring output of the season, which caused coach Whiting to celebrate with a fist pump in the postgame meeting.

“That’s what we’ve been teaching and preaching all season long,” Whiting said. “It wasn’t a perfect game tonight, we still had some times where we got after them, but just to see the progress and the growth is all I’m looking for right now.”

Progress and growth is just what this BYU team needs as they head into the final games of the season. The Cougars currently sit at 4th in the WCC standings, but they look to play Santa Clara on the road next week and then host Portland and Gonzaga in a few weeks, with two of those three teams sitting at the first and second spots in the conference. The team feels confident that a game like tonight can set themselves up for success at the end of the regular season.

Coach Whiting said, “[Tonight] is a big momentum game for sure. So as long as we go out on the road and play as defensively sound as we did tonight, and we share the ball and make the right decisions, then I’m excited for the stretch coming up.”

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