BYU heads to Montana State for “first and most important game of the season”

With high stakes and pressure mounting, BYU women’s basketball is gearing up for a make-or-break moment in its season.

The upcoming game for the team is being hailed as a crucial one by head coach Amber Whiting, who believes that their performance in this match will set the tone for the rest of the year. The Cougars’ last encounter with the Bobcats in 2022 ended in a disappointing defeat with a score of 69-60. However, it is worth noting that BYU had emerged victorious in the four previous matchups leading up to that game, meaning that there is still hope for a successful outcome. 

Concerning nerves, Whiting believes the Cougars are ahead of where they were last year. Playing in Europe together this summer allowed the team to get the pre-season jitters out and play together before the real season began. 

Nonetheless, “We haven’t put together our whole team out there ever, yet,” Whiting said. Three girls didn’t play in Italy and Nani Falatea and Arielle Mackey-Williams were out for the exhibition game last Friday. Falatea should be back soon, and Mackey-Williams is out for the season after sustaining what appears to be a knee injury.

Kaylee Smiler is excited for her team this year. “You can see that our roster now is deep,” Smiler said. Multiple players put up points in the double-digits. “Compared to last year, that’s already a big difference,” Smiler said. The freshmen have been a great addition to the team. 

“It’s fun to be with a bunch of freshmen who want to work and push you and want to compete,” Gustin said. 

The Cougars want to be here and compete in the Big 12 conference. “Practices seem a lot more competitive; it’s just more intense because everyone is trying to fight for minutes. Nobody is safe,” Gustin said.

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