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Cougars maul Broncos on the road
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—A steal by Keilani Unga ended a last-minute Bronco comeback attempt, helping the BYU women’s basketball team shut down Santa Clara 65-48 on the road Saturday afternoon.
BYU improves to 15-6 on the season and 6-2 in West Coast Conference play, good for second place in the league. Santa Clara falls to 12-10 and 4-5 in conference.
"Santa Clara is one of those teams that is in the top five in the league," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "It's hard to beat them here. We needed to win a road game with tough competition, and that's what we got tonight."
Haley Steed led all scorers with 17 points while also contributing six assists and four steals. Unga put up 13 points and led the team with seven rebounds.
Steed threw down two deep 3-pointers and a field goal during a 10-2 Cougar run to start the game. Steed hit a second jumper with 13:18 on the clock to bring her points total to 10 and BYU’s lead to 12-6.
A trey by Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn gave the Cougars their first 10-point lead of the game at 17-7 with 10:35 left in the first half. Free throws by Kim Parker Beeston kicked the lead up to 28-11, capping a 7-0 BYU scoring streak.
The Cougars headed into halftime with a 30-17 lead.
Another 7-0 run opened second-half scoring for the Cougars. Seaborn knocked down another trey with nine minutes to go, giving BYU its largest lead of the game at 51-29.
Santa Clara attempted a comeback late in the half with a 12-0 run started by a 3-pointer from Bronco Meagan Fulps. Ricki Radanovich hit another SCU trey, cutting BYU’s lead to only nine points with just under four minutes left.
A steal by Unga led to a jumper by Beeston, cutting off the Broncos’ advance with 1:49 to play. BYU ended the game with six free throw attempts.
Next up for the Cougars is a return to the Marriott Center to host San Diego on Thursday at 6 p.m. MST.
- The Cougars took a 3-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Haley Steed two minutes into the game and never looked back in the first 20 minutes of action.
- With the 30-17 advantage at halftime, BYU improved its record to 13-3 on the season when leading at the end of the first half.
- In the first half, the Cougars shot 34 percent from the field and held the Broncos to 23 percent shooting from the field. BYU ended the league game shooting 37 from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line. Santa Clara shot 31 percent from the field and 62 percent from the charity stripe
- The Cougars improved their record to 15-2 on the season when dishing out more assists than their opponents. For the game BYU had 15 to SCU’s 13.
- Haley Steed led all scorers in the half with 12 points. She finished with a game-best 17, marking her ninth game and third-straight game scoring in double digits. Steed also recorded game highs in assists and in steals with six and four, respectively.
- For the second-straight time and the fourth this season Keilani Unga recorded double figures in points with 13. She also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
At home Thursday, on the road Saturday
BYU women’s basketball continues West Coast Conference action this week with two games. The Cougars (13-6, 4-2) host Saint Mary’s (14-5, 6-1) Thursday at 7 p.m. MST, in the Marriott Center where they are undefeated with a 9-0 record. BYU then travels to play at Santa Clara (12-8, 4-3) Saturday at 2 p.m. PST. Thursday’s game can be seen live on BYUtv while the road game at Santa Clara can be heard live on BYU Radio.
GAME PROMOTIONS - Saint Mary's
Kid's Night - Children 12 and under are FREE
Activities include face painting, photo booth and balloon animals
The team has outrebounded its opponents in 13 of the games played. The BYU bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 386-238. When comparing points in the paint, the Cougars have scored 510 points to 418 from opponents.
BYU has enjoyed a halftime lead in all but four games to date (at USF, at Gonzaga, vs. Seattle and at Washington State). In only four contests (at USF, at Gonzaga, at Boston College and at Washington State) the Cougars did not record more assists than their opponents. Balanced scoring has added to the team’s success this year. To date, three players have put up double figures in points in nine games and four players finished with double digit scoring in three games.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ’78), enters his 12th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 10.9 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Hamson, 7.6 rpg
• Team’s assist leader: #33 Haley Steed, 7.7 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #33 Steed, 2.1 spg
BYU’S PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
#33 Haley Steed– (5-4 guard, GS.) 9.6 ppg; 4.2 rpg; 7.7 apg
#4 Kim Parker Beeston– (5-11 guard, Jr.) 10.6 ppg; 3.8 rpg; 2.2 apg
#12 Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn – (6-0 guard/forward, Jr.) 6.3 ppg; 2.4 rpg; 1.1 apg
#45 Keilani Unga– (6-2 forward, Sr.) 5.6 ppg; 4.1 rpg; 0.9 apg
#5 Jennifer Hamson– (6-7 center, Jr.) 10.9 ppg; 7.6 rpg; 0.4 apg
Saint Mary’s Capsule
The Gaels have compiled a 14-5, 6-1 record to date. Saint Mary’s only league loss to date was at home vs. San Diego on Jan. 17. On this year’s team, the Gaels return 10 letterwinners including three starters from last year’s team that went 22-11 and advanced to the second round of the WNIT.
• Head coach: Paul Thomas enters his seventh year with Saint Mary’s
• Team’s leading scorer: #3 Jackie Nared, 18.4 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #54 Danielle Maulding, 11.4 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #24 Morgan Hatten, 3.3 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #54 Maulding, 1.4 spg
The series is tied 1-1.
In last year’s WCC competition, these two teams split the series with each winning on its home court. At Saint Mary’s on Dec. 31, the Gaels defeated the Cougars 54-48. Senior Kristen Riley led the way for BYU with game highs in points (17) and rebounds (11) marking her second double-double of the season. Kim Parker Beeston also recorded double digits in scoring with 10 while Haley Steed dished out a team- and game-high five assists. For the game, the Cougars shot 33 percent from the field, 71 percent from the free throw line and went 6 of 21 from 3-point range. Saint Mary’s outrebounded BYU 43-31.
On Feb. 4, when the Gaels made their first ever appearance in the Marriott Center, the Cougar beat Saint Mary’s 83-47 in a game that saw every player on the BYU roster get playing time. Jennifer Hamson came off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points and in rebounds with nine. Riley finished the game with 15 points and six boards. Steed dished out a game-best 10 assist. In this contest, the Cougars bettered their field goal percentage, this time shooting 47 percent. In this matchup as in the previous game, the Gaels had more rebounds grabbing 43 to 35.
Santa Clara Capsule
Santa Clara has compiled a 12-8 record going 4-3 in league action. They play at San Diego on Thursday night before hosting the Cougars Saturday afternoon. The Broncos return four starters from last year’s team that compiled a 12-18 record and finished in sixth place in the WCC with a 5-11 mark.
• Head coach: Jennifer Mountain is in her fourth season with Santa Clara
• Team’s leading scorer: #4 Ricki Radanovich, 11.6 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #32 Lindsay Leo, 7.3 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #12 Nici Gilday, 2.9 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #4 Radanovich, 2.1 spg
The Cougars lead the series 4-1.
The Cougars swept the series with the Broncos last season getting a 74-64 win at Santa Clara on Jan. 28, and then picking up an 84-57 victory in Provo on Feb. 23. In the contest at Santa Clara, BYU had five players score in double figures. When the Broncos were in Provo, five Cougars once again finished with double digits in points on the night that the team’s three seniors were recognized.
WCC action continues with BYU hosting San Diego on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. MST, before taking a road trip to Moraga, Calif., to take on Saint Mary’s on Saturday, Feb. 9.