Provo • After a week that included a disappointing loss to Portland and a comeback win over Gonzaga, the BYU women’s basketball team learned something about itself that it may not have known before.
“We’re not all that and a bag of chips,” senior guard Paisley Harding said Wednesday after practice.
But at least for one game, the No. 20 Cougars showed they can think themselves as good as Chili Cheese Fritos.
The Cougars got back to their dominant ways Thursday night with a 104-53 win over the Pepperdine Waves at the Marriott Center. The win brought their West Coast Conference record to 10-1.
Sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales flirted with a triple-double, tallying 16 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Harding led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, while senior guard Tegan Graham added 18 points and shot 4 of -6 from the 3-point line.
Sophomore forward Lauren Gustin scored 16 points, brought down 10 rebounds and missed only one of her nine shot attempts. Reserve senior center Sara Hamson blocked six shots.
Gustin said she isn’t much of a chip eater, but she said the team could be described as Nacho Cheese Doritos based on Thursday’s performance.
“I think tonight we showed what we can do,” Gustin said.
BYU had 32 assists on 40 made field goals. It shot 62.5% from the field anad 52.9% from the 3-point line. It outscored the Waves 33-9 in the third quarter to truly break the game open.
Coach Jeff Judkins said he wrote and circled the number 22 on the board at halftime, reminding his players of how many points they conceded in the second quarter. The players were surprised at that, and corrected their defense accordingly. During one stretch in the third quarter, the Cougars ran off 22 straight points.
“We were more active defensively,” Judkins said. “We rotated a lot better.”
Thursday was the second time this season BYU scored at least 100 points. The crowd and bench alike erupted in jubilation when freshman Arielle Mackey-Williams made the 3-pointer to get them to 100. The last time was at home against Utah State on Nov. 23.
“I was really happy because I wanted to hit 100,” Judkins said. “These guys have missed it a couple of times.”
Notes: Judkins reached 450 career wins on Thursday. When asked about the milestone, he said he could not have done it without all the talented players he has coached throughout his career. ... Several people with connections to the BYU sports program were honored at halftime as part of the team elevating cancer awareness.