SPOKANE, Wash. — Shaylee Gonzales led the team with 19 points as BYU women’s basketball beat No. 13 Gonzaga 66-64 to sweep the in-season series for the first time since joining the West Coast Conference.
"We came out and probably played the best first quarter we’ve played all year," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We were patient and took advantage of what they were giving us. This team believed in themselves and this was a great team effort and I’m really proud of them. They competed for the entire game and didn’t let the crowd get to them or when Gonzaga came back to tie it. We remained focused."
Gonzales made five 3-pointers on her way to scoring a team-high 19 points while also adding three assists and three rebounds. Brenna Chase scored four 3-pointers on her way to contributing 14 points, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Paisley Johnson added 12 points while Sara Hamson pulled in nine rebounds and blocked three shots in the contest.
The Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run to tie the game up at 62-all with 2:24 left in the game. Gonzales made a driving layup to temporarily break the deadlock before Gonzaga evened the score at 64-all with one minute remaining. Hamson came up with two big blocks in one Bulldog possession that eventually ended with a shot clock violation with 2.5 seconds left on the game clock. Gonzaga fouled Johnson on the ensuing inbound play, sending the sophomore guard to the line. Johnson made both free throws to give BYU the two-point lead. Gonzaga failed to get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded, sealing the 66-64 win for BYU.
Caitlyn Alldredge scored a 3-point jumper on the opening possession of the game before adding another 3-pointer and a jumper to help BYU (20-6, 12-3) jump out to a quick 11-2 lead over Gonzaga (23-3, 12-2). Hamson put in a layup and Johnson made a shot from behind the arc to push the lead to 16-4 midway through the period. Chase knocked down the Cougars’ fifth 3-point shot of the quarter and Hamson added another layup to put BYU up 21-10. Gonzales scored her second 3-pointer of the quarter to give BYU a 24-13 lead at the end of the first period.
Maria Albiero scored her first points of the game on a jump shot and Johnson made a basket to keep BYU up 11 points, 28-17. Gonzales made another 3-point basket and Johnson made a free throw making the score 32-24 for the Cougars. The Bulldogs used a 6-2 run to bring the score within four points before Chase hit a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock to re-extend BYU’s lead to 37-30. Gonzales and Chase continued BYU’s barrage from behind the arc by making the Cougars’ ninth and 10th 3-pointers of the half. BYU held off a Gonzaga run, heading into halftime leading 43-36.
Both teams struggled to score after the half with Chase scoring BYU’s first points of the third quarter two minutes in. Johnson scored a layup, drew a foul and made the layup for the three-point play to put the Cougars up 48-40. Jasmine Moody beat the shot clock on back-to-back possessions before Gonzaga cut the deficit to 53-51 with 1:42 remaining in the period. Gonzales recorded her fifth make from behind the 3-point line and scored a floater at the buzzer to send BYU into the final period winning 58-51.
On the opening possession, Johnson drew a foul driving to the basket and split the two free throws. The Bulldogs continued to hang around, bringing the score within four points before Chase once again answered for the Cougars with her fourth 3-point make of the game, pushing the lead to 62-56. BYU held off Gonzaga's final run with two minutes remaining to claim the 66-64 victory.
The Cougars return home to the Marriott Center to face San Diego at 2 p.m. MST on Saturday, Feb. 23. The game will be televised live on BYUtv.
Postgame Notes – at Gonzaga (Feb. 16, 2019)
- For the first time since joining the West Coast Conference, BYU women’s basketball sweeps the series vs. Gonzaga with a 66-64 win in Spokane. In the first meeting with the Bulldogs, BYU picked up the 70-68 victory in Provo on Jan. 17.
- With the road win at Gonzaga, BYU women’s basketball improved its record to 20-6, 12-3 on the year. The 20 wins mark head coach Jeff Judkins’ 12th season with 20-plus wins.
- In the first half, BYU shot 71 percent from 3-point range, making 10 of 14 attempted 3s. The Cougars finished the league game shooting 54.5 percent from behind the arc. They shot 50 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.
- The Cougars dished out 16 assists compared with six for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs had the advantage in steals with eight compared with three for BYU.
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- Freshman Shaylee Gonzales led the Cougars in the first half with 12 points and ended the game with a team-best 19, making it her 24th game scoring 10-plus points. Gonzales made five 3-pointers for a season best in that category, dished out three assists and pulled down three rebounds.
- Junior guard Brenna Chase dished out four assists in the first half of play. She finished with a game-high five to go along with 14 points, two blocks, two steals and three rebounds.
- Sophomore guard Paisley Johnson picked up her 23rd overall and 13th straight game with double-figure points with 12. Her stat sheet included four assists and four rebounds in the win.
- Sophomore center Sara Hamson recorded game highs in rebounds with nine and blocks with three. She also contributed five points in the league victory.