Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
by Lisa Johnson, BYU Athletic Communications
PROVO, Utah (Nov. 17, 2007) -- The BYU women's basketball team walked away with a much sough-after 78-59 victory against Fresno State during the 2007-08 season home-opener Saturday at the Marriott Center.
Senior Mallary Gillespie-Carling led BYU with 17 points. She has scored in double figures in all three games this season and has now scored in double figures 50 times in her four-year career. Junior Shawnee Slade followed with 16 points and freshman Mindy Nielson tallied a career-high 11 points in the game. The Cougars now have had at least two players score in double figures in each of their games this season.
"It's nice to get a win after a tough loss," said BYU Head Coach Jeff Judkins. "They were a very good, up-tempo team and it's nice to play against different types of teams."
The Cougars' 55 rebounds is a season-high and the mark is tied for the second highest in team history. The last time the team grabbed 55 boards was at home against Cal State Northridge on Dec. 6, 2006.
The Cougars started strong, scoring the first seven points against the Bulldog's pressure defense. But it was BYU's defense that held Fresno State to score only free throws until the 16 minute mark. The Bulldogs gained momentum, tying the game 13-13 at 12:57 in the first half.
Both teams struggled to take the lead, tying the score three times in the first ten minutes. With the score 23-23, Slade dropped a three- point shot at 9:11 mark.
The Cougars went on to score the next eight points until the Bulldogs made their own three-pointer. BYU held Fresno State in the remaining time. The Cougars capped off 39-point half with a buzzer-beating lay- in by Gillespie-Carling.
"The first half we did a nice job, but we made some errors," Judkins said. "The second half we played much better."
Early in the second half the Cougars pulled away as they went on a 20-7 run. BYU gained a 17 point lead during that run. Fresno State stopped the initial BYU run with a three-point shot, but the Bulldogs couldn't stop the Cougars' momentum. With 2:40 left in the game, BYU gained its largest lead of 24 points with a lay-up by Nielson.
The Cougars will continue home play on Tuesday, Nov. 20, when they face Hartford at 4:30 p.m. in the Marriot Center.