PROVO, Utah – A barrage of 3-point buckets lifted BYU women’s basketball 79-43 over Fort Lewis College in the final exhibition game of the season in the Marriott Center on Saturday.
“Tonight, we were better and more focused,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought tonight a lot of kids played a lot better than the game before. It’s a process, but we’re getting better. I want the players to get some confidence. We just have to be more consistent, but this is a good game for that.”
Junior Lexi Eaton led all scorers with 14 points, 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Freshman Maddy Ziering-Smith had 11 points, 3 of 3 for three-pointers. Micaelee Orton led all players in rebounds with nine, four of which were offensive boards. Orton added five points and one steal. Senior Morgan Bailey had three steals to go along with her five points. Junior Kylie Maeda dished out five assists. The bench came in and scored 45 points. The Cougars also scored 21 points off of turnovers.
BYU started off the first half with a barrage of three-point shooting. Three-pointers from Ashley Garfield, Bailey and Eaton gave the Cougars the early 9-2 lead at the 17:20 mark. Bailey had two steals, one of which led to points in the paint from her at the 15:32 mark to give BYU the 11-3 lead. There was a lot of foul trouble for the Cougars. They had 13 fouls to FLC’s eight in just the first half.
A jump shot from Xojian Harry gave BYU its first double-digit lead, 17-7. Kylie Santos’s move to the basket for a layup at the 15:01 mark was the Skyhawks’ first field goal made in seven minutes. The Cougars held them to 25 percent shooting in the first half. BYU responded by going on a 9-0 run to push the lead to 31-12.
A couple of three-pointers from Eaton and one from Ziering-Smith put BYU up 36-14. The Cougars were 7 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half, the seventh coming from Kristine Fuller to end the half and go up 41-18.
Savannah Irwin got BYU rolling in the second half with two shots made, but FLC answered back with two quick baskets of its own to make the score 45-20 with 17:50 left. The three-point shooting success continued for the Cougars, with Eaton making one and Ziering-Smith making two in the second half.
After an inbound pass from Makenzi Morrison, Garfield made a layup to put BYU up 58-28 with 12:20 left in the game. The Skyhawk’s first and only three-pointer made in the game came from Michelle Turner to make the score 62-34.
Orton grabbed an offensive rebound and got the layup to push the Cougars’ lead to 79-41 with 2:45 left. A couple of blocks in a row from Lyssa Hanks held the Skyhawks at bay. BYU won 79-43, shooting 50 percent and holding FLC to 27 percent shooting.
“I think that after last week’s loss, there were some things we needed to adjust and we addressed those and came in more mentally prepared,” Garfield said. “We made the adjustment to come out this week and impose our will on the other team and not sit back and let them do that to us.”
BYU kicks off the regular season against South Dakota State on Friday, Nov. 14 in Brookings, South Dakota. The game starts at 8:00 p.m. CST.
PROVO, Utah — With the 2014-15 basketball season fast approaching, the Cougar women have scheduled one more exhibition game this week. The team hosts Ft. Lewis College Saturday at 2 p.m. The game is free to the public.
BYU is looking to bounce back after a comeback fell short in a 59-54 loss to Westminster last Saturday. The women have set high expectations for themselves striving for another winning season, a conference title and making some noise in the NCAA tournament.
This year’s squad includes an experienced trio of starters and a veteran bench.
They have their sights set on continuing the winning ways from last year’s team that recorded the most wins in program history with 28, a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament.
BYU was picked to finish second in this year’s WCC race as selected by the league’s coaches earlier this week.
The Cougars return a very athletic and talented group of starters. At 6-foot-2, senior forward Morgan Bailey, the team’s rebounding leader (7.0) and second leading scorer (10.7) will provide a strong athletic and physical inside presence that will be critical to BYU’s success. Junior Lexi Eaton, a 5-foot-10 guard, averaged 16.8 points a game and had the team’s best free throw percentage .834 (171-205) last year. Her scoring abilities will be a threat inside and outside. The third returning starter is junior guard Kylie Maeda, a great ball handler and distributor. Last season, the 5-foot-5 point guard was second in assists. Maeda dished out 112 assists and had 27 steals while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. She’ll run the Cougar offense and be a scoring threat from the outside.
The strength of a solid group of experienced players including two seniors and two sophomores will provide the Cougars with a lot of depth and balance. Senior Ashley Garfield is second on the team in rebounds pulling down 6.3 per game and scoring 4.0 points a contest. At 5-foot-11, her uncanny ability to be at the right place at the right time will be a force to be reckoned with in BYU’s inside game. Xojian Harry is playing in her final season with the Cougar program. Next to Garfield, Harry recorded the most minutes off the bench. The 5-foot-11 guard/forward combo was solid for the Cougars in their impressive run in the NCAA tournament last year finishing the season shooting nearly 30 percent from behind the arc.
Sophomores Kristine Fuller and Makenzi Morrison played a lot of minutes in nearly all games in their freshmen campaign. At 5-foot-11, the solid ball handlers understand the Cougar offense and can shoot the ball well.
Micaelee Orton, a 6-foot-2 forward who saw action in 19 games last year, along with redshirt freshman center Savanna Irwin and true freshman Alohi Robins-Hardy will strengthen the team’s post play and inside presence. Irwin is a 6-foot-5 center while Robins-Hardy is a 6-foot-2 forward that will join the team once her freshman season on the BYU volleyball team concludes.
Redshirt freshman Cassie Broadhead, a 5-foot-9 guard from Glenville, N.Y., makes her debut this season. Her athleticism, good shooting and ball handling skills will be vital to the team’s success at the point guard spot.
Utah standout Amanda Wayment, a 6-foot-1 true freshman forward from Ogden and Fremont High School, will be another impact player on this year’s Cougar roster. Her rebounding and athletic strength as a post player are expected to play a major role on the team.
Ft. Lewis College, out of Durango, Colorado, finished with a 16-11, 13-9 record. Most recently, they were picked to finish sixth in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Poll. The Skyhawks return two starters and nine letterwinners.
BYU opens the regular season on the road at South Dakota State on Nov. 14. The team’s home opener is on Wednesday, Nov. 19 against Cal State Northridge. That game tips at 11 a.m. , so that local elementary school children can have an opportunity to come cheer on the women.
On Saturday, Nov. 22 the Cougars hosts Nevada in a 7:30 p.m. tip.