Behind senior guard Cassie Broadhead Devashrayee’s career-high 36 points, the BYU women’s basketball team beat rival Utah 77–68 in the Deseret First Duel on Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center. The Cougars snapped their four-game losing streak to improve to 4–5 on the year with the victory.
“I’m really proud of this team,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We’ve had a really tough couple of weeks. The way they fought back, I’m just happy for all of them. Utah is a really good team. They’re probably the best team we’ve played all year. They execute really well and have a lot of fire power. I’m just happy for the girls; it’s been tough.”
Devashrayee’s 36 points came on 8-for-17 shooting along with 18-made free throws. She also recorded five steals. Sophomore guard Brenna Chase had 11 points and senior guard Malia Nawahine contributed 13. Freshman center Sara Hamson had a near double-double with nine rebounds and nine blocks. Her nine blocks are tied for third most in program history.
“What do you do when you have a kid like that?” Judkins said about Devashrayee. “Her will to win was the difference. I thought her and Malia (Nawahine) really played well tonight as seniors.”
“What do you do when you have a kid like that? (Cassie Broadhead Devashrayee’s) will to win was the difference. I thought her and Malia (Nawahine) really played well tonight as seniors.” — Jeff Judkins, BYU coach
Utah jumped out to a quick 9–0 lead and held BYU scoreless until Nawahine hit a three with 5:07 to go in the quarter. The Cougars then settled in to pull within three but trailed 16–11 at the end of one.
Down by nine early in the second quarter, Chase hit two threes to spark the Cougar offense and BYU kept the score tight the rest of the half. But Utah kept the slight edge to lead 35–33 at halftime. Despite the Cougars shooting 38 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line compared to Utah’s 29 percent shooting and 21 percent 3-point shooting, the Utes went 16-for-20 from the free-throw line while BYU went seven-for-nine.
The Cougars tied the score at 35 to open up the second half and then Devashrayee nailed a three to give the Cougars their first lead of the game at 38–35. Later in the quarter, the Cougars went on an 8–0 run to push their lead to seven, but Utah closed the third with a 3-pointer to make the score 49–45 heading into the fourth quarter.
The rivals went back and forth in the fourth until Devashrayee took over. She sunk two buckets to give the Cougars the 64–56 edge with three and half minutes to play. BYU never looked back, increasing their lead to as many as 12 on their way to their 77–68 victory.
BYU scored 28 points in the fourth quarter and outscored Utah 44 to 33 in the second half. The Cougars also cut back on fouls in the second half, allowing the Utes only nine more free throw attempts. BYU shot 41 percent from the field and from 3-point range while holding Utah to 33 percent shooting and 31 percent 3-point shooting. BYU had 13 blocks compared to Utah’s four and 13 steals compared to Utah’s six.
The Cougars will look to ride their momentum as they travel to Berkeley, California to face Cal on Saturday, Dec. 16.