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BYU Olympic Sports: Women’s Hoops upsets Zags, Gymnastics beats Utah State

BYU Photo via byucougars.com

BYU’s Olympic sports teams had an excellent weekend, highlighted by women’s basketball’s win over 13th-ranked Gonzaga.

Women’s Basketball

BYU women’s basketball team hosted 13th-ranked Gonzaga at the Marriott Center on Thursday and shocked the Bulldogs in the Cougars’ ninth straight win. The Bulldogs, who were on a 12 game win streak before Thursday’s game, opened up strong, led by Laura Stockton and Zykera Rice. The Cougars took their first lead at 61-60, and never trailed for the rest of the game. Shaylee Gonzales hit 1 of 2 free throws with 13 seconds left to put them up 70-68, and the Zags missed two shots in the final seconds as the Cougars pulled off the upset. The Cougars were led by their big three of Gonzales with 17 points, Brenna Chase with 14 and Paisley Johnson with 12.

The Cougars stayed at the Marriott Center on Saturday to take on the Portland Pilots. The Cougars fell behind early, and found themselves down to the Pilots by as many as 16 points at one point. The Cougars went on a 7-0 run to finish the second quarter, trailing by a score of 44-37.

The Cougars would cut the lead to two early in the third quarter, but the Pilots would extend again. Every time the Cougars would cut into the lead, the Pilots would respond and extend yet again. With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Cougars were down 68-60. However, the Cougars would go on a 19-3 run to close the game, including a 16-0 run that caused the Pilots to panic and give up more turnovers.

The comeback was led by sophomore Maria Albiero, who was excellent on the night with 16 points. The Cougars had four scorers in double figures, as Johnson had 15, Chase had 13, and Gonzales added 11.

BYU improved to 16-3 with the win. The Cougars have now won 10 straight, and sit atop the WCC standings at a perfect 8-0. They will play San Diego next Saturday in San Diego.

Men’s Volleyball

BYU opened the week with several national and conference weekly awards after their two home game sweeps. Gabi Garcia Fernandez was named AVCA National Player of the Week, Off the Block National Opposite of the Week, MPSF Volleyball Player of the Week and MPSF/Molten Offensive Player of the Week. Additionally, Davide Gardini was named Off the Block Freshman of the Week.

The Cougars traveled to Pennsylvania for two road games against Penn State and Saint Francis. They beat the the Nittany Lions in a thrilling five set match on Friday evening before turning around Saturday morning and sweeping the Red Flash.

Men’s Tennis

The Cougars traveled to Orlando on Saturday and played Florida Atlantic. The Cougars would win 4-2, led by the No. 1 Doubles win from Sean Hill and Jeffrey Hsu as well as a singles win from each.

On Monday, the Cougars stayed in Orlando to take on UNC-Wilmington. The Cougars lost in a close one, 3-4, dropping their first match-up of the year. Singles 1 Sean Hill remains undefeated, but his Doubles 1 match with Jeffrey Hsu was suspended at 4-3.

The Cougars will compete in the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Winston-Salem, NC this weekend. They will face No. 1 Wake Forest on Friday, before playing either Memphis or Old Dominion on Saturday.

Women’s Tennis

Women’s tennis visited Weber State on Friday in Ogden and beat the Wildcats by a score of 5-2. Polina Malykh and Madeline Almeida remain undefeated on the season after winning their doubles match, 7-5. The Cougars are now 1-0, and will travel to Denver to play the University of Denver on February 2.

Track and Field

BYU Track and Field teams traveled to Colorado Springs to compete in the Air Force Team Challenge on Friday. The Cougars won the men’s competition with a total of 163 poins, while the women’s team came in second with 111 points. Brenna Porter won the 400m event with a time of 53.90, which is a PR and second-best all-time at BYU. Clark Brown also won the 60m event with a time of 6.76, which is his PR.

The Cougars travel to New York next weekend to compete in the Dr Sander Invitational.

Gymnastics

The Cougars traveled north to Logan to take on Utah State at the Spectrum on Friday and beat the Aggies with a final score of 194.575 to 193.875. Shannon Evans again led the Cougars with an all-around score of 39.125. The Cougars beat the Aggies in each event, and their best team event was the Vault, with a team score of 48.950.

The Cougars will meet the Aggies again on Friday at the Marriott Center at 11 am.

Hockey

The Cougars hosted seventh-ranked Cal State Northridge at the Peaks arena on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the Cougars opened the scoring early in the first period, and led 3-0 at the first intermission. The Cougars would continue to pile on the goals in the second period, adding two more goals, while the Matadors got their first. The Matadors would score three more goals in the third period, but the Cougars would add another two themselves and hold on to beat CSUN by a final score of 7-4.

The Cougars faced the Matadors again on Saturday night and won decisively, 5-2. The Matadors scored early, but the Cougars would respond with two minutes left in the first period. The Cougars would have an excellent second period, going up 2-1 with ten minutes left. After a quick response from the Matadors, the Cougars would score two more goals in the second period, extending the lead to 4-2 going into the second intermission. Chase Christensen would score the Cougars’ fifth and final goal of the night late in the third period, sealing the back-to-back win with a final score of 5-2.

The Cougars host Metro State and Colorado State on Friday and Saturday this week at Peaks Ice Arena.