PROVO, Utah – A key three-pointer in the closing minutes by Xojian Harry along with a career-high 15 points allowed BYU women’s basketball to hold on against San Diego, 54-50 on Saturday at the Marriott Center.
“I am really happy we got the win tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “This game reminded me so much of Saint Mary's where we had a good lead the first half and played really well defensively but came out a little flat and stood around. I think Xojian [Harry], three pointer that she hit was a big basket for us to kind of take the lid off the basket and loosen us up.”
The Cougars (15-5, 7-2 West Coast Conference) held a nine-point advantage over the Toreros (15-4, 6-3 WCC) to start the second half. Bailey established herself in the paint early in the half by scoring five quick points down low with a left-handed hook shot and a turnaround jumper along the baseline.
BYU suffered a scoring drought for nearly six minutes starting at the 16:00 mark of the second half. The drought allowed the Toreros to get within one point, 37-36.
Bailey ended the drought with 10:41 left when she found Eaton cutting down the lane for a lay-up that put the Cougars back up three, 39-36.
With just over four minutes left and BYU leading 43-41, Kylie Maeda drove down the middle of the lane drawing two defenders. Maeda kicked the ball out to a wide-open Harry who drained a three-pointer to give the Cougars a 46-41 edge.
“When we go for a stretch and we are not getting any shots that are falling, the basket seems to get tighter and tighter. So we just needed someone to take the lid off, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time for those,” Harry said.
BYU’s lead was cut to one again at 46-45 when Eaton hit Bailey in stride for a backdoor lay-in with one second left on the shot clock.
On the ensuing possession for San Diego, Makenzi Morrison stole an inbound pass after a timeout and was immediately fouled. Morrison then hit two free throws to extend the lead to five, 50-45 with just over one minute left.
Harry iced the game with four made free throws in the final minute as BYU held on for the 54-50 victory.
The Cougars led the Toreros at halftime, 30-21. BYU shot 50 percent from the field in the first half compared to San Diego’s 27 percent.
The score was tied five times in the first half with three lead changes. Eaton led all scorers in the half with 10 points to go with four rebounds.
BYU took its first lead of the game at 16-13 when Eaton hit a three-pointer from the wing at the 10:00 mark of the first half.
The key stretch of the first half began with 7:04 left when BYU closed the half on a 14-4 run while hitting on 5 of 6 field goals. During the same stretch, the Cougars clamped down defensively, holding the Toreros to 3 of 16 shooting from the field. San Diego was also held scoreless for five minutes of that stretch.
BYU will go on the road this Thursday to face San Francisco. The game tips off at 7 p.m. PST and will be streamed live online at theW.tv. Live stats will also be available on the BYU women's basketball schedule page.
After the first 20 minutes of action, BYU led 30-21. The Cougars went on to win 54-50 and are now 12-1 when leading at the half. This was their fourth time this season and second time in a row scoring under 60 points.
BYU shot 50 percent in the first half on 11 of 22 shooting. San Diego was held to just 27 percent after 20 minutes. The second half brought down the Cougars’ percentage to 37, while the Toreros improved to 31 percent.
The two teams were equal in points in the paint with 26 each. They were also equal in points off of turnovers with 10 apiece.
BYU had eight assists at halftime, while San Diego had four. The Cougars dished out 14 assists by the end of the game, while the Toreros had just nine. BYU improves to 13-3 when finishing with more assists.
The rebounding battle was close in the first half, with the advantage going to San Diego 19 to 18. The Toreros ended up outrebounding the Cougars 42-32. BYU is now 5-4 when being outrebounded by its opponent.
This was the second game in a row that the Cougars had four blocks in the first half. The Toreros had just one. BYU ended up winning the block battle 5-4.
Eaton has made threes in 12 games in a row after going 2 of 3 from beyond the arc in the first half.
With 10 points, Eaton led all scorers in the first half. She finished with a game-high 16 points along with six rebounds. Most of her points came from the free throw line where she was 6 of 9.
After the first half, Harry was a perfect 3 of 3 for a total of six points. She finished with a career-high 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting.
Bailey had 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and a game-high six assists in the winning effort. She played all 40 minutes in this game. This was the third time doing so this season, the second in a row.
Morrison scored six points, including 4 of 4 from the charity stripe down the stretch.
Maeda scored four points on 2 of 3 shooting. She added three assists and three rebounds.
PROVO, Utah— Tied for third place in the latest West Coast Conference standings, BYU women’s basketball (14-5, 6-2) has one more home league game this week.
The Cougar women host San Diego (15-3, 6-2) Saturday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m. MST. The game airs live on BYUtv and will be simulcast on BYU Radio.
BYU’s six-game league win streak was snapped after a disappointing 10-point, 61-51 home loss to Saint Mary’s last Saturday. The Cougars have a 7-2 record at home, including a 3-1 mark in conference action.
The combined 63 points from Lexi Eaton’s 32 and Morgan Bailey’s 31 points in the win over Pacific on Jan. 15 were the first in program history. No two players have ever scored 30-plus points each in the same game.
Lexi Eaton, a 5-foot-10 junior guard/forward combo, leads the Cougars in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game. She ranks third in rebounds, pulling down 5.8 boards a contest. Morgan Bailey, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, is in second place in scoring, tallying 18.7 points while leading the way in rebounding, averaging 10.9 boards per game. The team’s assist leader is Kylie Maeda, who averages 4.5 assists a game.
After playing 19 games, BYU is averaging 69.4 points per game, while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 68.5 percent at the free-throw line and 36.6 percent from 3-point land. In all but three games, (at LMU, vs. USF and at Gonzaga), BYU has dished out more assists than its opponents. Most recently, in the home game vs. SMC, both teams tied in the assists category with 11 each. The Cougars have recorded more rebounds in 11 contests to date, have an 11-1 mark when leading at the break and have scored at least 80 points in five games (most recent, a season-high 89 vs. Pacific).
The team has also had three players score in double figures in six contests, (most recent at LMU) and has had four players finish with double digit points in two, (most recent vs. UNLV).
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) 14th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 L. Eaton, 19.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #41 M. Bailey, 10.9 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #15 K. Maeda, 4.5 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #23 M. Morrison, 1.4 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #41, M. Bailey, .47 bpg
About SAN DIEGO
San Diego comes to Provo with a 15-3, 6-2 record and is tied with BYU for third place in the WCC latest standings. The Toreros hosted two league foes last week and came away with a one-point, 57-56 loss to Saint Mary’s and a four-point, 56-52 win over Pacific.
In the preseason WCC poll, San Diego was picked to finish third in the 2015 league race. When playing on the road, San Diego has a 7-1 overall mark and is 3-1 when playing away conference games.
The Toreros return 12 letterwinners, including three starters from last year’s team that had a 24-9, 11-7 record and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the postseason WNIT.
Three players are scoring in double digits for USD, led by Malina Hood who is averaging 15.1 points and 2.6 rebounds a contest. Sophia Ederaine, follows with 12.4 points and a team-best 9.6 boards per game. Maya Hood rounds out the double figure scoring, contributing 12.1 points and 7.2 rebounds a contest.
San Diego is averaging 68.2 points, recording 43.8 rebounds per game, shoots 40.0 percent from the field and 69.4 percent from the free-throw line. From 3-point range, USD is shooting 31.6 percent.
• Head coach: Cindy Fisher (Arizona State, 1988) Ninth Year
• Team’s leading scorer: #02 Malina Hood, 15.1 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #12 S. Ederaine, 9.6 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 C. Woodward, 2.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #22 Maya Hood, 1.9 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #12 S. Ederaine, 4.3 bpg
BYU leads the series 7-1. When playing in Provo, the Toreros are 0-3. Coach Judkins has a 7-1 record against USD. Last year, these two teams split the series with each team winning on its home court.
The first game between the two league foes was played in San Diego on Jan. 18, where the Cougars lost 60-45. When the two played in Provo, BYU picked up the 71-58 win on March 1.
BYU continues WCC play next week, traveling to northern California for two important conference matchups. The Cougars are at San Francisco on Jan. 29 and at Santa Clara on Jan. 31.