BYU roundup: Cougar women’s hoops wins second straight Big 12 game, beats Cincinnati on the road
CINCINNATI, Ohio – BYU fought off Cincinnati 69-57 at Fifth Third Arena on Saturday afternoon for its first Big 12 road win.
The Cougars have now won two Big 12 games in a row for the first time (coupled with Wednesday’s upset of No. 18 Baylor) and earned them a season sweep of the Bearcats.
“I am super proud of my women today as they really came to fight,” said BYU head coach Amber Whiting. “They came together today and when it got tough, when it got hard they turned to each other and I’m proud of them for that.”
The Cougars had three players finish in double figures, led by Lauren Gustin who poured in 21 points while also grabbing 20 rebounds to notch her nation-leading 23rd double-double in 25 games. Her 21-point, 20-rebound performance is the fifth game this season in which Gustin has finished with 20-10 and third with at least 20 points and 20 boards.
Kailey Woolston finished with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting with six assists and five rebounds while her backcourt mate Amari Whiting scored 10 points on a 40-percent clip with seven rebounds, two assists and a block.
BYU (14-11 overall, 4-8 Big 12) outshot UC 47.5 percent to 28.8 percent, converting on nine more field goal attempts and knocking down eight threes in the win. BYU also dominated the glass, outrebounding Cincinnati 45 to 33 and assisted on 16 of 28 made field goals.
The Cougars got off to a slow start, but back-to-back buckets from Woolston and Rose Bubakar on consecutive possessions got the Cougars on track. The Bearcats countered with a 7-0 run of their own to take a 9-4 lead with 4:55 left in the first.
Lauren Davenport would snap the run with a left-corner triple before a driving floater from Whiting pulled BYU within one, 9-10. After trailing again by six, the Cougars scored the final six points of the quarter to knot the game at 15 through ten minutes.
BYU took an early three-point lead in the second quarter with Davenport’s second three of the game and a three from Emma Calvert. After the lead was cut to two by a UC bucket, Woolston nailed a step-back three to retake a five-point advantage.
Cincinnati would draw within one twice before consecutive scores from Gustin and Woolston gave BYU a half-high lead of six. The Bearcats trimmed the lead to three with a driving layup with 20 seconds left in the half. The Cougars led 33-30 at the break led by Woolston with 12 first-half points.
BYU came out of the gate red-hot in the third quarter, scoring the first six points of the quarter before UC hit a three to stop the run. Gustin hit a floater, followed by Woolston feeding Gustin for a fast-break layup before Whiting capped the run with a tough score off the glass
The Cougar defense held the Bearcats scoreless for over four minutes, scoring five straight points to take an 11-point lead at 44-33. Cincinnati would trim the lead but a fourth three from Woolston and a deep triple from Kaylee Smiler gave BYU a game-high lead of 13 which the Cougars would take into the fourth quarter.
Cincinnati would not go quietly as the Bearcats scored 10 of the first 12 points in the fourth to cut the BYU lead to five but the Cougars responded with scores on each of their next four possessions to retake a nine-point advantage.
Lauren Gustin was fouled in the act of shooting with 4:42 to play in the game and split a pair in BYU’s first trip to the free throw line in the game. Despite the late push from Cincinnati, the Cougar defense held UC to just four points in the final 4:58 to close out the 69-57 win.
The road trip continues for the Cougars as they next take on the UCF Knights at Addition Financial Arena on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Fans can also tune in to BYU Radio 107.9, BYURadio.org and the BYU Radio App for live play-by-play with Jason Shepherd.
BYU men’s volleyball gets second sweep of Long Island
Kupono Browne slammed home a season-high 14 kills as No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball again swept Long Island University 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-21) on Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
Browne’s 14 kills came on a hitting percentage of .560. Miks Ramanis posted nine kills while hitting at .429. Ethan Gant made his first-career start and recorded a career-high three kills to go along with it. The Cougars saw solo blocks from Teon Taylor and Jon Stanley while Tyler Herget racked up 31 assists and eight digs.
“The coaches have really taught us how to play together as a team and I think that is the number one thing that has helped us improve this season,” said Herget. “This weekend was a great opportunity to showcase who we really are to the rest of the country. I’ve put in a lot of work and so has the rest of this team. Everyone is getting some playing time which is great, so we’re seeing the fruits of our efforts.”
BYU (9-3) hit at a clip of .325 for the game with 35 kills while holding LIU to 30 on .232 hitting. The Cougars shutout the Sharks from the service line with a 9-0 advantage in aces.
BYU continues its 10-match home stand as it opens MPSF play in two matches versus Grand Canyon University at 7 p.m. MST on Feb. 16-17. Watch both matches live on BYUtv.
Cougar softball stays undefeated in Hawai’i
Late game heroics from Ailana Agbayani pushed BYU softball to a come-from-behind win in Game 2 of a doubleheader on its final day of the Paradise Classic at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium on Saturday evening.
“Pure heart all day,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Gianna coming back strong today was clutch. In game two, Violet robbing a 2-run home run, Chloe giving a great effort to keep us in the game and the 3-run, two-out home run by Ailana was all just incredible! Story book!”
The Cougars opened the season 5-0 behind a 3-run homer over the right field fence by Agbayani in the top of the seventh innning. Left-handed pitcher Chloe Temples picked up her second win of the 2024 campaign after going the distance, fanning 10 and giving up just five hits and two earned runs.
BYU got shutout wins over Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday (3-0) and Nevada on Friday (8-0).
The Cougars will next travel to Tempe, Arizona for the Sun Devils’ Littlewood Classic. They will play five games there, beginning against host ASU on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. MST.
BYU relay team breaks school record
Sami Oblad, Lainey Jones, Annalise Hart and Emily Ellis teamed up to break BYU’s school record in the 4×400-meter relay on day two of the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.
Oblad, Jones, Hart and Ellis crossed the line nearly 3.5 seconds faster than the previous school record of 3:39.15 run last season at the Razorback Invitational. Hart has now contributed to the past three school records in the event and Oblad the past two.
Hart continued to make her mark on the BYU record board this weekend clocking a 54.55 in the open 400m to move to No. 6 all-time. A senior from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Hart is also No. 7 in BYU’s outdoor 400m, running 53.92 last season.
“Everybody came back for day two of the meet ready for more,” said Kyle Grossarth, Cougar sprints and hurdles soach. “We had outstanding efforts all around. I’m super proud of the way the group competed today. I was excited for Anna to move up on the top 10 board in the 400-meters and of course the women shattering the school record on the 4x400m relay.”
Cougar men’s swimming beats Utah
Brad Prolo and Jordan Tiffany each defended their own Richards Building Pool records on Saturday as BYU men’s swim and dive finished the job with a 181-113 win over rival Utah.
“This meet is so much fun,” said BYU head swimming coach Shari Skabelund. “Utah’s gotten the better of us in recent years but this time we really focused in on winning and showed up.”
The Cougars ballooned an 88-62 lead on Friday into a meet win on Saturday with key performances in several events.
After finishing second in each of the day’s first two events, Prolo flipped the momentum switch for BYU with a rousing upset in the 200 breast. Prolo tore through the water on his way to upping his own pool record with a new personal-best of 1:55.94. Utah’s Jaek Horner, a 2022 Second Team All-American, finished second at 1:56.04. Horner entered the meet ranked No. 16 nationally in the event.
Prolo’s 1:55.94 is good for No. 2 all-time at BYU behind only teammate and third-place finisher Emerson Edwards.
The Cougars continued to build on their lead as Tiffany helped BYU secure 16 more points in the 100 fly. Tiffany kept the pool record to himself with a winning 45.72 after previously clocking a record 46.42. Prolo took runner-up to Tiffany with a personal-best 47.15. Tanner Edwards and Carson Hamblin followed to give BYU each of the top-four spots in the race.
Luigi Riva, Diego Camacho Salgado, Payton Plumb and Tiffany finished the meet off for the Cougars by winning the 400 free relay with a pool-record 2:54.65. Riva’s 43.94 in the leadoff added another pool record to BYU’s tally as well.
With the regular season concluded, BYU now turns its attention to the Big 12 Swim and Dive Championships Feb. 27-March 2 at The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown, West Virginia.