BYU’s spectacular comeback falls short against No. 23 West Virginia

With 6:43 left in the fourth quarter, Lauren Gustin spun off of her defender into the paint and found a wide-open Emma Calvert at the three-point line. Without hesitation, Calvert put up a shot as the shot clock buzzer rings and nailed the triple to cut the West Virginia lead that got up to as much as 18 down to just four as crunch time approached.

Ultimately, the Cougars were unable to complete the 18-point comeback, going on to lose 76-69. The Mountaineers spent most of the game in a full-court press that BYU struggled with to start the game on its way to an eight-turnover first quarter. The third quarter is really where the Cougars began to settle into their game plan and get some stops defensively. The Cougars held the Mountaineers to just five field goals in the third period and went on a 15-4 run to cut into the deficit.

The Positives

BYU played an incredible second half. The Cougars outscored the Mountaineers 40-33 in the third and fourth quarters as they attempted to mount an improbable comeback. BYU also out-rebounded West Virginia by a margin of 37-25. A plus-12 rebound margin is always a good thing and shows the impact that Gustin has on this team.

Shooting also went well for the Cougars. They managed to shoot 50% from the three-point line and 77% from the free-throw line.

Gustin continues to be a bright spot for BYU this season. The senior forward poured in 16 points and added 14 rebounds to her stat line. She maintains her lead as the top rebounder in the nation and an important leader for a young BYU team.

The Negatives

“It’s getting old,” coach Amber Whiting said about the amount of failed comebacks this season.

The Cougars have battled back from six double-digit halftime deficits and cut those leads to single digits. In all six of those contests, they are winless.

Saturday night marked the 10th time this season that BYU has recorded 20 or more turnovers. The Cougars have also yet to force 20 or more turnovers in a game this season.

Looking Ahead

BYU will look to bounce back against Baylor on Wednesday when the Cougars and Bears face off for the first time this season in the Marriott Center.

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