Junior guard Brenna Chase scored a game-high-tying 19 points and had a game-high seven assists as seventh-seeded BYU defeated 10th-seeded Auburn 73-64 in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Stanford, Calif.
Cougars freshman guard Shaylee Gonzales scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She has scored in double figures 30 times this season.
Caitlyn Alldredge, a BYU senior guard, added 14 points. BYU 6-7 center Sara Hamson, who entered the game ranked sixth in the nation with 2.8 shot-blocks per game, had four points, eight rebounds and four swats.
The Cougars, winners of the West Coast Conference, improved to 26-6. BYU will play its second-round game on Monday, also at Maples Pavilion on Stanford’s campus.
Auburn (22-10) was led senior guard Janiah McKay, who had 19 points and six assists, and senior guard Daisa Alexander added 14 points. Crystal Primm, a Duke transfer, had 11 points.
Tigers sophomore forward Unique Thompson provided a game-high 19 rebounds to go with 10 points.
Former BYU quarterback Steve Young, who went on to become a seven-time Pro Bowl player and won three Super Bowls, was among the Cougars’ fans in the stands.
Trailing by as many as 15 points, Auburn went on a late 11-1 run that was capped by Primm’s layup, cutting BYU’s lead to 65-61 with 1:58 left in the game. But Auburn, which shot just 32 percent from the floor — including 4-of-27 on three-pointers — couldn’t make enough baskets to pull off the upset.
BYU led 13-11 after one quarter and 28-26 at halftime. Just before the first-half buzzer, Auburn’s McKay picked up a loose ball at the foul line and rattled in a jumper.
The Tigers made just 26.3 percent of their shots in the first 20 minutes but stayed close due to an 11-2 edge in offensive rebounds.
BYU made its move in the third quarter, using a 13-2 run to grab a 51-39 lead.
After Auburn made its fourth-quarter run, Chase hit two free throws and Gonzales had a layup to steady the Cougars.
—Field Level Media