PROVO, Utah – The Loyola Marymount women’s basketball team (14-8, 6-5 WCC) battled until the end, but was ultimately defeated by the BYU Cougars (13-9, 8-3 WCC) on Thursday night in Provo, Utah, 62-52. BYU scored 27 points from the three-point line as they netted nine threes in the contest to LMU’s five.
LMU started strong, going up 8-0 to open the game on balanced scoring from Makenzie Cast, Andee Velasco and Gabby Green. BYU got on the board at the 7:45 mark on a layup from Sara Hamson. The Lions held the Cougars to just 10 points in the frame as they netted just 3-of-11 field goal attempts (.300).
BYU heated up in the second quarter, starting off the period with back-to-back threes by Brenna Chase and Paisley Johnson to cut the Lions’ lead to two, 18-16, and then tying the game at 18-18 on a Cassie Devashrayee layup. The teams traded baskets, LMU regained the lead, and then Malia Nawahine poured in another three for BYU to tie it up again at 23-23.
BYU took its first lead of the game at 26-23 on another Chase three at the 6:45 mark of the second quarter. The Cougars went up by as many as five points at the six-minute mark of the period, but the Lions kept it close and only trailed by two at the half, 32-30.
Cast led the Lions in scoring in the first half with eight points, while freshman Jasmine Jones hauled in six boards, including three on the offensive side, and Andee Velasco racked up three assists and two steals through the first two quarters. Chase of BYU led all scorers in the opening half with 10 points.
BYU’s hot shooting from long range continued in the third quarter, as the Cougars outscored LMU 8-2 to open the second half. Devashrayee hit two threes in the opening minutes of play and Hamson netted a jumper to extend the Cougars’ lead to eight, 40-32, at the 7:34 mark of quarter three. Raychel Stanley put in two free throws for LMU’s two points over this stretch.
The Cougars’ strong play continued, as they nailed four threes in the third to move to nine total through three quarters, while LMU struggled to score consistently in the frame. The Lions were limited to just nine points in the third while the Cougars put up 19 points. Hamson secured an offensive rebound and finished a putback at the buzzer to give BYU a 51-39 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Stanley dominated in the fourth, pounding the paint and knocking down clutch free throws to keep LMU close behind. She put in 4-of-4 free throws over a six-minute stretch in the fourth quarter and scored six points overall in the frame to continually cut BYU’s deficit. LMU held BYU without a field goal for the entire fourth quarter, but the Cougars continually got to the free-throw line to add points on the board and maintain their lead, which resulted in a 10-point win (62-52).
LMU dominated on the boards, outrebounding BYU 49-38, but the Cougars were able to convert the Lions’ 18 turnovers to 19 points in the win.
The Lions continued to struggle from the free-throw line overall, netting just 13-of-31 attempts on the night.
Devashrayee finished with a game-high 25 points as she finished 11 of her 12 free-throw attempts in the BYU win. Stanley led the Lions in scoring with her 12 points and also added six boards and two blocks. Green posted 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, while Jasmine Jones added six points and 10 boards. Bree Alford also pulled down 10 rebounds including six offensive boards.
Following tonight’s game, LMU returns home to take on the Portland Pilots on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. at the Pavilion.
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