MORAGA, California – Despite having three starters score in double figures, BYU women’s basketball fell 76-71 in overtime to Saint Mary’s on the road Thursday night.
"This was a tough loss," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We had our opportunities to win and didn't take advantage of them. We have to do a better job making baskets when the game is close, and we also had some breakdowns defensively so we need to improve there as well."
Lexi Eaton led all scorers with 23 points. She also dished out four assists and grabbed three rebounds. Makenzi Morrison had 18 points, including four treys. Leading all players in rebounds, Morgan Bailey had 15 boards to go with her 16 points and six assists.
Overtime began with Eaton driving and scoring a layup for the early BYU (19-6, 11-3 West Coast Conference) lead, but the Gaels (17-7, 10-3 WCC) scored five points to go up 69-66. A deep two from Morrison had BYU take back the lead, 71-69, with 1:48 left in overtime. Saint Mary’s came back, making key free throws down the stretch and forcing late turnovers, to take the 76-71 victory.
The Cougars had a slow start in the first half, scoring their first points off of a 3-pointer from Xojian Harry after two minutes of play to make it 3-3, tying the Gaels.
BYU warmed up after Kylie Maeda drilled a trey to break a three-minute scoring drought. A jump shot from Eaton with 11:41 left in the half pushed the Cougars’ lead to 18-11.
Morrison caught fire in the first half, shooting 3 of 4 from beyond the arc, including a three to get the largest lead of the half, 36-23, with 4:05 remaining. She had 13 points in just the first half to lead all scorers.
The Gaels chipped away at the lead, holding the Cougars to just two points from Maeda in the last four minutes of the half. BYU had a 38-32 lead going into the break. The Cougars made eight 3-pointers and dished out 14 assists after the first 20 minutes of action.
The second half began where it left off with Saint Mary’s cutting into the lead, getting within one of BYU, 38-37. Another three from Morrison with 16:23 left held the Gaels at bay, but they would eventually take the 59-58 lead over the Cougars after seven minutes of play in the second half.
The two teams stayed close, trading buckets, until a putback by Bailey sparked BYU. The team went on an 8-0 run to go up 64-56, capped off by a fadeaway jumper by Eaton with 5:05 left in the game.
The Cougars were held scoreless for five minutes, allowing the Gaels to get back into the game, closing in on the lead. With one minute remaining, BYU was clinging to a 64-62 lead. Saint Mary’s Carli Rosenthal scored a layup to tie the game up with 20 seconds left. Bailey forced a three to win it, but the shot was off the mark, leading to overtime.
BYU’s road trip continues on Saturday against Pacific at 2 pm. PST. The game will be broadcast live on BYU Radio and on the internet at theW.tv. Live stats will be available on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
In the first half of action, the Cougars had dished out 14 assists, compared with just seven for the Gaels. BYU finished the game with 19 assists compared with 15 for SMC.
BYU scored 13 points in the first half off of SMC turnovers, while the Gaels got four points from Cougar mistakes. For the game, the Cougars scored a total of 21 points from the Gaels turnovers. SMC tallied 14 points from BYU mistakes.
The Gaels had the advantage in the rebound category after the first 20 minutes of action pulling down 19 to the Cougars 12. SMC would finish the game with the advantage in boards, outrebounding BYU 47 to 31.
Makenzi Morrison led the Cougars in the first half with 13 points on 3 of 4 shooting from 3-point range. Morrison recorded her 11th game with double digits scoring with 18 points.
Morgan Bailey pulled down seven rebounds and scored seven points in the first half. She also tied in the assists four assists. With 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, Bailey recorded her 13th double-double of the year. For the game, she also tied for team bests in assists with six and had two steals.
Kylie Maeda shot perfect from three-point range in the first half, going 2 for 2 from behind the arc for her six points. She also tied for team bests in assists with four. She ended the game with six assists, which tied for game highs, along with eight points and four rebounds.
With a game-high 23 points, Lexi Eaton tallied her 23rd double figure game in scoring. The points also marked the 12th game this season with 20-plus points. Eaton also had four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
PROVO, Utah—All alone in second place in the West Coast Conference standings and riding a five-game winning streak, BYU women’s basketball (19-5, 11-2) heads to northern California for two important league games this week.
The Cougars are at Saint Mary’s (16-7, 9-3) on Thursday, Feb. 12 in a 6 p.m., PST tip. On Saturday, Feb. 14, BYU is at Pacific (17-6, 9-3) for a 2 p.m. PST matchup in Stockton.
Lexi Eaton, a 5-foot-10 junior guard/forward combo, leads the Cougars in scoring, averaging 20.7 points per game. She ranks third in rebounds, pulling down 6.5 boards a contest. Morgan Bailey, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, is in second place in scoring, tallying 18.3 points while leading the way in rebounding, averaging 10.8 boards per game. Bailey became BYU’s 26th player to eclipse 1,000 points in the USF game. The team’s assist leader is Kylie Maeda, who averages 4.5 assists a game.
BYU is averaging 68.8 points per game, while shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 69.5 percent at the free-throw line and 35.7 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. In the home game vs. SMC, both teams tied in the assist’s category with 11 each. The Cougars have recorded more rebounds in 13 contests to date, have a 15-1 mark when leading at the break and have scored at least 80 points in five games.
The team has had four players score in double figures in three contests, (most recent at USF) and has had three players finish with double-digit points in seven (most recent vs. USD).
BYU head coach Jeff Judkins recorded his 300th win with the 77-58 home victory over Pepperdine on Feb. 5, 2015.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) 14th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 L. Eaton, 20.6 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #41 M. Bailey, 10.7 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #15 K. Maeda, 4.4 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #23 M. Morrison, 1.7 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #41, M. Bailey, .52 bpg
About SAINT MARY’S
Saint Mary’s has compiled a 16-7, 9-3 record to date and is tied for fourth place in the league standings entering this week’s WCC action.
Junior guard Lauren Nicholson is the lone player for the Gaels that scores in double digits, averaging 16.8 points and 3.9 rebounds a contest. The team’s leading rebounder is senior Carli Rosenthal, who grabs 7.7 boards a game.
SMC is averaging 64.3 points, recording 42.5 rebounds per game, shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 72.3 percent from the free-throw line. From 3-point range, the Gaels are shooting 27.7 percent.
• Head coach: Paul Thomas (Wayne State, 1988) Eighth season
• Team’s leading scorer: #01 L. Nicholson, 16.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #25 C. Rosenthal, 7.7 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #14 S. Mauldin, 2.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #14 S. Mauldin, 1.9 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #14 S. Mauldin, 0.78 bpg
Saint Mary’s leads the series 5-3. When playing in Moraga, The Cougars have an 0-3 record. Head coach Jeff Judkins is 3-5 against the Gaels.
The first game between the two league foes was played in Provo on Jan. 17, with the visiting Gaels recording the 61-51 victory over BYU.
BYU shot 28.3 percent from the field, 27.6 from 3-point range and 64.3 percent at the free-throw line. The Cougars had the edge in blocks, four to one and in steals four to three.
In the game, the visiting Gaels had the advantage in rebounds 52 to 29. SMC finished the contest shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. When shooting from behind the arc, the Gaels shot 66.7 percent.
Lauren Nichols was the lone SMC player to score in double digits with 20. She had a double-double with 11 rebounds.
Pacific enters this week’s league action tied for fourth place with Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference standings with a 9-3 mark. The Tigers have an overall 17-6 record. When playing at home, Pacific is 4-1 in league games.
In this year’s league race, Pacific was picked to finish fourth in the conference. The Tigers’ Kendall Kenyon was named to the 2014-15 Preseason All-WCC Team.
Two Pacific players are scoring in double figures, led by 6-foot-2 senior forward Kendall Kenyon, who averages 14.0 points and a team-best 11.1 rebounds per game. Junior guard, Hailie Eackles follows with 11.0 points and 2.0 boards a contest. The Tigers are averaging 69.4 points a game and pull down 36.1 rebounds, while shooting 40.0 percent from the field, 33.2 percent from behind the arc and 69.1 percent from the free-throw line.
• Head coach: Lynne Roberts (Seattle Pacific 1997, 2000) Ninth season
• Team’s leading scorer: #10 K. Kenyon, 14.0 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #10 K. Kenyon, 11.1 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #11 M. Parrish, 4.1 apg
• Team’s steals leader: # 20 U. Coleman, 2.0 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #10 K. Kenyon, 1.8 bpg
BYU leads the series 8-2. When playing in Stockton, the Cougars are 3-0.
In the first meeting with Pacific, the Lions came to the Marriott Center on Jan. 15 with the Cougars picking up the 89-72 victory. The win snapped Pacific’s five-game win streak. Morgan Bailey and Lexi Eaton combined for 63 of the 89 total points with 31 and 32 respectively. Bailey also recorded a double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds. Eaton dished out a career- and game-best eight assists. BYU shot 54.7 from the field compared with 41.3 percent for Pacific and they outrebounded the Tigers 42 to 28.
The Cougar women will remain on the road for its next league game. BYU will head to San Diego to take on the Toreros on Saturday, Feb. 21.