BYU Celebrates Women in Sports Day with Top 25 Win

National Women in Sports Day is celebrated the first Wednesday in February every year. The Cougars celebrated by getting their first win vs a ranked opponent since November 2021.

The upset victory is also Coach Amber Whiting’s first win versus a ranked opponent.

Coach Whiting said postgame, “This whole week we’ve just been talking about (getting) an upset. One of these times, we’re gonna get (one).”

The Cougars bested the 18th ranked Bears 78-66, improving to 12-1 in games where they hold their opponents to 66 points or less.

BYU busts a 3 game losing streak and is now 13-11 on the season and 3-8 in the Big 12.

The Cougars got off to a hot start thanks to an aggressive first quarter from Amari Whiting where she hit two three pointers within the first 5 minutes of the game.

“We want to punch first.” Amari said postgame. “I hate losing. Tonight I was doing whatever I could to help my team win. I just wanted to win.”

Amari finished the night with a near triple double: 14 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds.

The post game locker room celebrations consisted of water-throwing and dancing according to Amari Whiting.

The ever-consistent Lauren Gustin led the way for the Cougars yet again with 23 points and 16 rebounds. The rebounding efforts of the entire BYU team were crucial considering the Baylor Bears have outrebounded 14 of their 21 opponents this season and are 13-1 in those games.

In addition to rebounding, the Cougars also outperformed the Bears in all three shooting categories: 53% from the field, 40% from three, and 77% from the free throw line.

Joining Gustin in double-digit scoring were Amari Whiting, Kailey Woolston (all in the second half), and Emma Calvert, each with 14 points.

Baylor Bears Head Coach Nicki Collen noted, “Outside of turnovers, they beat us in almost every category…all the way around, they were the tougher team.” She even bluntly stated, “Our defense didn’t travel to Provo.”

That’s a pretty promising recipe for success.

Inserting Rose Bubakar into the starting lineup and having Emma Calvert come off the bench proved to pay dividends for BYU.

Coach Collen pointed this out in the postgame presser saying, “Calvert just came in and made every shot she took. Maybe she would be a good sixth player for them the way she played off the bench.”

Indeed, 14 points on 6-8 shooting from the field and 2-4 from three isn’t too shabby for a “sixth player”.

Up next is a Saturday morning showdown at Fifth Third Arena vs the Cincinnati Bearcats (12-10 overall, 4-7 in Big 12). They’re off to a great start this month with wins over Texas Tech & UCF. We’ll have to see if Bubakar gets the start and if Calvert can be a spark off the bench once again.

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