Eaton's career night leads BYU to victory
PROVO, Utah – Behind a career night from sophomore Lexi Eaton and a strong second half from senior Jennifer Hamson, BYU beat Washington State 80-73, Tuesday.
“That was a very good team we played tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “They change their defenses a lot from a matchup zone to a zone to man-to-man and it’s hard to get a rhythm.”
Eaton had career-highs with 27 points and nine rebounds. Hamson added 20 points, with 18 coming in the second half, and eight rebounds. Kim Beeston added season-highs of 21 points and seven assists. Her four three-pointers put her into sixth in career threes, ahead of Thais Kidd.
“I thought tonight Lexi played a really nice game for us,” Judkins said. “She was aggressive offensively and really helped us in the first half when we had a hard time getting the ball inside to Jen and Morgan (Bailey).”
BYU shot 44.3 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from behind the arc. The blue Cougars had 23 assists on 27 baskets. The defense held Washington State to 16.7 percent from behind the arc.
With BYU leading 62-51, Washington State went on a 12-1 run to tie the game at 63. BYU answered with an 8-2 run to give the Cougars a 71-65 lead. It was all the cushion they would need to take the game.
After falling behind 4-3 BYU started a 9-2 run, led by six points from Eaton, to take the 12-6 lead. Washington State answered with a 16-4 run to grab a six-point lead of their own. Eaton once again led the blue Cougars on a 10-0 run with two 3-pointers to take the lead 28-24. BYU and Washington State battled to the end of the half and the blue Cougars held on to lead 37-32.
Eaton led BYU with 16 points and five rebounds while Kim Beeston added 10 points and three assists. The blue Cougars shot 43.8 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the three-point line while holding Washington State to 37.1 percent shooting from the floor and 22.2 percent from three.
Eaton continued her hot shooting in the second half, opening with nine of BYU’s first 16 points to lead the blue Cougars to their first double-digit lead of the game at 53-42.
BYU returns to action Saturday against Arizona at 2 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv.
BYU outshot the Washington State Cougars 45 to 38 percent in the first twenty minutes. BYU finished the game edging out Washington State 44 to 41 percent in that category.
The BYU Cougars outrebounded Washington State 22-17 in the first half, but finished tied in the category at 40-40.
Washington State led by as many as six points at two separate times in the first half. BYU’s largest lead of the game was eleven points at three separate points in the second half.
Fueled by two Lexi Eaton 3-pointers, BYU regained the lead with 4:45 left in the first half for the first time since five minutes into the game. The BYU Cougars never lost the lead despite Washington State coming back to tie the game multiple times.
Eaton led all scorers in the first half with 16 and five rebounds. She finished the game with a career-high in points (27) and a tie for a career high in boards with nine. This was just her third time scoring 20-plus points in her career.
Jennifer Hamson scored double-figure points with 20 to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks. She scored 18 of her points in the second half. It was her third consecutive game scoring 20-plus points.
Kim Beeston surpassed Thais Kidd in career 3-pointers at 172 with her four – sixth best in Cougar history. She finished the game with a season-high 21 points and five rebounds to go along with a game-high seven assists.
Ashley Garfield came off the bench to contribute seven points, eight boards and a team-high three steals in BYU’s win.
Arizona at home Saturday
On a five game winning streak, the BYU women’s basketball team (5-0) returns to the Marriott Center for another battle against a Pac-12 foe. The Cougars take on Arizona (1-5) on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 2 p.m. The game can be seen live on BYUtv.
The 5-0 start to the 2013-14 season is the team’s best start since the 2005-06 campaign when they went 8-0 before losing a home game to NC State. BYU is averaging 76 points per game, holding opponents to 65 and has three players in double digit scoring. They have outrebounded their opponents, recorded more assists and more blocks in all games played.
BYU returns nine letterwinners and two starters from a team that compiled a 23-11 record last season, finished tied for third in the West Coast Conference and competed for the second straight year in the postseason WNIT.
In the coaches’ preseason poll, the Cougar women were picked to finish fourth in the WCC regular season race behind San Diego, Saint Mary’s and league favorite Gonzaga. Senior center Jennifer Hamson was named to the preseason all-conference team, her second such honor.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) enters his 13th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 19.6 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 J. Hamson, 9.0 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #4 Beeston, 5.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #4 Beeston, 1.6 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #5 J. Hamson, 3.8 bpg
The University of Arizona has compiled a 1-5 record to date with their lone win, a 51-49 victory at UC Santa Barbara.
The Wildcats returns seven letterwinners including four starters from last year’s team that finished with a 12-18 record.
Arizona was picked to finish league play in 11th place. The Wildcats are the second of three teams that BYU plays from the Pac-12 conference.
• Head coach: Niya Butts (Tennessee, 2000) begins 6th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #1 Candice Warthen, 16.0 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #24 LaBrittney Jones, 6.3 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #1 C. Warthen, 3.5 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #1 C. Warthen, 2.0 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #24 L. Jones, 1.2 bpg
BYU leads the series 7-5
These two teams met last season on Nov. 20 in Tucson with BYU coming out with the 62-48 victory behind a double-double from Jennifer Hamson who was making her season debut with the women’s basketball team. She played 27 minutes scoring a season-high 23 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Both were game highs. Lexi Eaton and Kim Beeston joined Hamson in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Eaton was perfect from the line, knocking in 6 of 6. Beeston added five assists and three steals.
BYU’s bench outscored Arizona 13-3 and scored 36 points in the paint to the Wildcats’ 10.
The Cougars took a 28-21 lead at halftime and with 15:52 remaining in the contest were up by 15, 38-23. BYU led by 17 with five minutes to go when the Wildcats mounted a comeback with back-to-back treys to cut the lead to 10 with 2:38 to play. Two shots from the line brought the Wildcats within eight.
Hamson halted the 8-0 Arizona run with a layup for BYU before Eaton hit both free throws to extend its lead to 60-48 with 1:22 on the clock.
After playing at home for two games, the Cougar women play their next three on the road. BYU will battle Nevada in Reno on Tuesday, Dec. 3 followed by a game against Creighton in Omaha on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The team then takes a short road trip to Ogden to take on Weber State on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.
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