BYU womens basketball forces 25 sales in excitement of No. 17 in the state of Florida
Shaylee Gonzales dribbles the course during a 55-44 victory over the state of Arizona on Wednesday November 17, 2021 in Provo. Gonzales had 24 points, five steals, and four rebounds to lead the Cougars to a 61-54 upset over the No. 17 Florida state on Thursday, November 25, 2021 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (BYU photo)
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PROVO – No Loss November continues for BYU basketball.
Shaylee Gonzales scored 24 points, including 10 of 11 from the free throw line, along with five steals and four rebounds as BYU Women’s Basketball Annoyance No. 17 Florida State 61-54 in the opening game of the St Pete Showcase at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Maria Albiero added 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Cougars, who scored 25 points on 25 sales with 14 steals. Reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week Paisley Harding added 7 points, five rebounds and three assists for BYU (6-0).
Sammie Puisis led Florida State (4-1) by 16 points and Morgan Jones had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles.
But BYU got off to a hot start, scoring 12 points after its first 12 ball losses a minute into the second quarter to create a 19:16 lead over Gonzales’ jumper.
Big win = big celebration pic.twitter.com/cCOfJNeCNi
– BYU Women’s Hoops (@byuwbb) November 26, 2021
The Cougars were without head coach Jeff Judkins, who skipped the trip to Florida after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of BYU’s game against the state of Utah on Tuesday. He is expected to join the team next week, according to a source close to the program.
“The rest of the team has been tested and it has been determined by the BYU sports medicine staff that they can travel safely in the team travel group without further positive tests,” the team said in a statement. “Assistant coach Lee Cummard will take over the duties of the head coach who is coach Judkins in quarantine.”
Cummard improved as reigning head coach to 2-0, including a 101-74 win over the Aggies, which was the highest offensive performance since 2011.
“The toughness this team showed tonight was special,” said Cummard. “The whole team was locked in and made an impact. We have another great opportunity on Saturday.”
The Cougars forced 18 ball losses, converting them to 17 points in the first half and keeping the Seminoles on their way to a 32-28 half-time lead at 44%. Gonzales topped all scorers with 15 points in 5-of-9, and Harding added 4 points, three rebounds and two assists for BYU at break.
Florida State cut the deficit to just 3 points in the third quarter. But the Cougars ended the period on a 4-0 sprint and kept the Seminoles goalless through the final 2:52 to maintain a 45-38 lead. Nani Falatea displaced the lead to 10, 48-38, with a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and the Cougars did just enough to hold the track.
Kourtney Weber converted a one-game during an 11-2 run to draw Florida State within four, with less than 2 minutes remaining. But the Seminoles couldn’t get any closer.
The Cougars started the season 6-0 for the first time since the 2013/14 season when BYU finished the season with nine straight wins on the way to a 28-7 record and a place in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament opened.
BYU will face number 22 West Virginia in the St. Pete Showcase championship game on Saturday before taking on Utah at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, December 4th.
Saturday’s game will be streamed live on FloHoops.