BYU women's basketball vs. Loyola Marymount

BYU's Paisley Harding drives to the basket in a women's college basketball game against Loyola Marymount at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.

BYU women’s basketball continued its defense of the Marriott Center with a 69-50 handling of Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon.

Behind the balanced play of starters and bench alike, the Cougars moved to 11-3 on the season, 7-2 in the WCC and earned their 14th consecutive home win, dating back to Jan. 11 of last season.

“We have a lot of different players who can step up with their matchups,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “The other night it was Lauren (Gustin). Tonight, I thought Tegan (Graham) did a really good job. Sara (Hamson) was really active, Paisley (Johnson Harding) did a good job with her matchups. That’s what makes this team so good.”

BYU’s backcourt led the way against LMU (5-11, 4-7), with senior guard Paisley Johnson Harding scoring a team-high 14 points, graduate transfer Tegan Graham adding 13 points off the bench and sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales stuffing the stat sheet with eight points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals, and a block.

Forward Lauren Gustin added six points and six rebounds, giving her a week’s total of 37 points and 36 rebounds over three games.

“We’re all threats on the court,” Graham said. “We have a lot of different weapons and a lot of different skills. I think it’s really hard when we’re moving the ball like that to try and take away what we want.”

Early in the game, LMU kept things close behind the shooting of guard Chelsey Gipson. It was BYU’s scoring in the paint and on fast-breaks that fueled a 13-4 run to finish the first half with a 37-21 lead.

BYU dominated around the basket at both ends of the floor on Saturday, scoring 32 points in the paint while holding LMU to just eight and out-rebounding the Lions, 45-33.

Led by four steals from Gonzales, the Cougars scored 19 points on fast-breaks, 14 of which were recorded in the first half.

During the second half, BYU raced ahead to a 61-36 advantage and closed the game with valuable playing time for freshmen such as Kyra Beckman and Tahlia White.

The Cougars will return to action with road games next week at Pacific and Saint Mary’s on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Both games will be streamed live on the WCC Network.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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