Pacific women's basketball roared back in the fourth quarter against BYU on Thursday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center, but came up just short of completing the comeback bid in a 77-74 loss.
The Tigers trailed by nine entering the final quarter and were down by as much as 11 points in the final 10 minutes, but a technical foul that led to four quick points helped ignite a Tiger comeback. Sophomore guard Valerie Higgins helped lead the charge with nine points, three rebounds and three steals in the fourth quarter alone.
Sophomore forward Brooklyn McDavid, who made 9 of her 15 shots, led the team with 20 points. She was two rebounds short of a double-double and had two steals, both of which came in the fourth quarter. Higgins and senior guard Ameela Li both finished in double figures as well with 17 and 16 points respectively. Higgins, who left the game in the second quarter after taking an awkward fall and returned after halftime, wasn't far off from a triple-double with nine rebounds and six steals.
BYU took the lead from the Tigers at the 5:36 mark and held it until the fourth quarter. Both teams shot the lights out in the first half with the Cougars making 54% of their shots and the Tigers sinking 48% of theirs.
The Cougars extended their lead to 11, its largest of the game, in the third quarter, but the fourth quarter flipped the script. With just under eight minutes to play, a technical foul was called on the BYU bench for arguing with the referees. Pacific sent Li to the line where she made both shots. On the following possession, Jessica Blakeslee knocked down a two-pointer to cut BYU's lead from eight to five. After a BYU turnover and a missed three-pointer, Li sunk a three from the wing to make it a two-point BYU advantage with 4:58 to play.
The Cougars did not make a field goal in the final 4:58 of the game while Higgins began to go off with nine points in the final five minutes. She also had a steal and a massive chase down block in the final five minutes.
BYU held on thanks to going a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line while in the bonus to close the game. Pacific had the ball for the games, final opportunity, but couldn't get a shot off with less than three seconds to go.
Pacific is back in action on Saturday against San Diego in a 2 p.m. game at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
- BYU outscored the Tigers 22-17 in the first quarter, it was the first time this season that Pacific did not take a lead into the second quarter.
- BYU's Paisely Johnson led all players with 10 points.
- Pacific's Ameela Li had seven points with two assists to lead the Tigers while McDavid had six points and an assist. Li made all three of her attempts in the quarter.
- BYU outscored the Tigers 22-20 in the quarter and took a 44-37 lead into the locker room.
- Higgins had seven points in the quarter to lead the Tigers while Shaylee Gonzalez had seven to lead the Cougars. Higgins was 2-3 from the field.
- McDavid had six points and three rebounds in the quarter and made three of her four shots.
- BYU scored 19 to points to Pacific 17 in the quarter.
- Both teams spread the points around in the quarter with at least four players on both teams scoring three or more points.
- Pacific outscored the Cougars 20-14 in the final quarter.
- Valerie Higgins took over with nine points, three steals, three rebounds and a block in the closing quarter.
- The Tigers shot 50% to close to the game.
- Pacific went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead down to two points thanks in part to forcing seven turnovers out of the Cougars.
- Pacific lost its first game at home this season. The Tigers are now 5-1 at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
- Higgins extended her streak of 10 games with at least 10 points to 14 games.
- McDavid extended her streak of games with 10 or more points to six, the longest streak of her career. It was the 29th double-figure scoring game of her career, which is now the second most among active Tigers.
- Li extended her streak of games with 10 or more points to four games.
- McDavid had her third game with 20 or more points in her career.
- Higgins tied a career-high with six steals. She's done so three times now. She also had six steals in Pacific's previous game at Gonzaga.