While many have enjoyed a Thanksgiving break over the past few days, the BYU Cougars women’s basketball team has been incredibly productive on the court, as the unranked Cougars have beaten two ranked opponents.
Playing in the St. Pete Showcase in St. Petersburg, Florida, BYU bested No. 17 Florida State 61-54 on Thanksgiving Thursday, and then the Cougars followed that up with a dramatic 58-57 victory over No. 22 West Virginia, a future Big 12 opponent, on Saturday.
On Saturday, star Shaylee Gonzalez made two free throws with three seconds left to put BYU up 58-56.
With 0.4 seconds left, however, Tegan Graham fouled West Virginia’s Kari Niblack, who got two free throws to try to tie.
Niblack made the first before the Cougars called timeout, and then Niblack missed the second as BYU escaped with the win.
The Cougars had trailed by as many as 13 in the second quarter and were down by five inside of six minutes to play before going on a 7-0 run to take the lead, and the teams traded baskets leading up to the dramatic ending.
Gonzalez led all scorers with 20 points, and she added six rebounds and two assists in 36 minutes of play.
Paisley Harding added 13 points and Graham scored 11.
Saturday’s game followed a Thursday contest that saw BYU open up a 9-point lead in the second quarter, and Florida State never got closer than two the rest of the way, although the Seminoles did get within four late.
Gonzalez put up 24 points for the Cougars in that one, and Maria Albiero added 10.
Both wins occurred with assistant coach Lee Cummard, the former Cougar standout player, assuming the role of head coach after Jeff Judkins tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
BYU won the Showcase, and Gonzalez was named MVP.
BYU is now 7-0 on the season and will next face rival Utah on Dec. 4 at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.