Provo, UT –
A career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds propelled BYU (3-0) to their third victory of season, defeating Uta Valley 59-44 Tuesday night at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
BYU’s defense shut down the Wolverines offense, holding them to 29% shooting from the field, and forcing 11 turnovers. Utah Valley (1-1) would never find any offense answers, at one point the Wolverines were 0-of-14 from 3-point range.
“Coach is a defensive-first coach, she has been making us grind defensively. I just know that my job when I pick up ball, is to stop ball… my whole life I’ve gotten pretty good at tapping little cookies, and I just always look for it” said Amari Whiting on her defensive performance on Tuesday night.
The rebound and double-double queen Lauren Gustin was a problem the entire night drawing seven fouls on the Wolverine forwards Tessa Chaney and Liana Katiu’u (former Portland forward and West Coast Conference foe).
Gustin finished the game with 13 points to go along with 21 rebounds and six assists. This is the 13th time Gustin has finished with 20 plus rebounds in her BYU career.
“We’ve been working on it practice. We will send two at her. That’s the type of leadership I love and look for her. She is very unselfish going into the paint,”BYU Head Coach Amber Whiting said in regards to Gustin’s six assists.
BYU dominated Utah Valley on the glass, out rebounding them 55 to 27. 18 of those rebounds were offensive that led to 13 second chance points.
It’s not all that often you see two points guards in the same game record more than five rebounds a piece. Amari Whiting and Kailey Woolston combined for 19 of BYU’s rebounds.
“Lauren has made jokes before that she has to fight her out teammates now for rebounds because they go to the boards now, and that’s what I love is someone is always going to go clean it up. Lauren having 21 for us tonight was huge” said Head Coach Amber Whiting.
Utah Valley (1-2) caused BYU some early trouble in the first quarter with 1-3-1 zone that forced five Cougar turnovers. Rough night for the Wolverines forcing 20 BYU turnovers, but only scoring 10 points from it.
Two of those turnovers were forced by sophomore guard Allie Criddle. Criddle scored all her six points in the first quarter, as the Cougars wouldn’t allow her to make another shot for the rest of the game.
BYU would break the press in the second quarter by scoring the Wolverines True freshman Amari Whiting would lead BYU in the first half with 11 points. Whiting finished the game with 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
“When we got Woolston on the baseline, being able to run and just be wide open. I think it opened the game for us and it’s really nice to have a shooter wide open that will knock it down for us”
Woolsten shot 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-pointers range.
This is the first time since February 23rd, 2017 where two players recorded a double-double in a game. The last being when forwards Amanda Clamen and Kalani Purcell defeated the Portland Pilots 76-60.
BYU will now play two games in Laie, Hawai’i at the North Shore when they face Wake Forest on Saturday November 18th and Saint Louis on Wednesday November 21st. Tip-off against the Demon Deacons is scheduled for 3:30pm HT, while tip-off against the Bulkians is scheduled for 10:00am HT.