BYU

No. 16 BYU downs Dons behind Harding’s big game

Paisley Harding drives to the hoop against USF's Kennedy Dickie. (Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo)

by Nathan Farmer @nlfarmer1

Behind 30 points from Paisley Harding, the No. 16 BYU Cougars took down the San Francisco Dons 99-58 on Saturday at the Marriott Center to extend their winning streak to 10 games.

“This was one of the best all-around games we’ve had,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “When you get a crowd like that, these guys are hard to beat here. They’re fun to watch.”

Juddy’s squad had the Dons on their back heels the whole night with their stellar shooting, going 52% from the field and 48% from long range. Shaylee Gonzales pitched in 18 points and four assists, 10 of which came in the first quarter. Lauren Gustin logged her 10th double-double of the season, going for 11 points and 14 rebounds.

The Cougars had 26 assists on 37 made field goals and just six turnovers. Maria Albiero dished out a game-high nine assists, including four in the opening quarter that helped BYU jump out to an early lead.

The Dons went blow for blow with the Cougars in the first five minutes, but were unable to slow down the opposition in transition, as BYU used an 18-5 spurt to close the quarter Gonzales and Harding each made a pair of threes to help push the Cougars out to a 28-13 lead at the end of one.

Four different Cougars made 3-pointers in the second quarter, with the team going 5-for-6 in the quarter. BYU assisted on eight out of nine field goals in the quarter, including a Harding three just before the break to give the Cougars a 53-33 lead at the break.

BYU extended the lead up to 28 at the end of three, with Harding getting to 30 points by the end of the quarter in just 28 minutes of action.

The Cougars emptied the bench early in the fourth quarter, but that didn’t stop the team from pushing for 100 points. Nani Falatea made a pair of three’s and Emma Calvert pitched in six points in the fourth, but the team came just short of reaching 100.

The 99 points scored by BYU were the team’s second-most on the season, behind only the 101 dropped by the Cougars against Utah State back in November. With the 13 made threes on the night, the team has now made 100 threes at home this season. The Cougars remain undefeated at home on the season, and have now won 27-straight at the Marriott Center dating back to the 2019-2020 season.

The Cougars will now head out on arguably their toughest road trip of the season to take on the Portland Pilots and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who both sit right behind BYU in the WCC standings. Thursday’s game in Portland is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. MDT and can be streamed on the WCC Network.

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