Cougars use big second half run to beat Santa Clara
PROVO, Utah – The BYU women’s basketball team used a 17-2 run to start the second half to beat Santa Clara 65-42 Thursday night at the Marriott Center.
Jennifer Hamson led the Cougars (17-7, 7-3) with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to record her third double-double of the season. Haley Steed had 10 points and 10 assists for the night and Ashley Garfield scored 10 points and six rebounds.
The Broncos (13-12, 5-7) were led by Nici Gilday who scored 10 points and four rebounds.
"Well it wasn’t a pretty game, but we got it done," head coach Jeff Judkins said. "How we played defensively, in the first half, is probably why we stayed in the game – we did a good job of making them run the shot clock all the way down. For the most part they had to just put up shots that weren’t open, and we forced that. It’s good to see Jen (Hamson) a little more aggressive tonight – on the glass and trying to score. That’s what she has to do. That’s the Jen that I know. Another great game by Haley (Steed), she’s always consistent for us."
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The BYU bench outscored the Broncos' bench 26-11 for the game and the team had a 26-12 advantage of points in the paint. The Cougar defense played tough all game, recording eight steals and forcing 13 turnovers while holding Santa Clara to 25 percent shooting on the night. BYU shot 43 percent from the field, including 40 percent (6-15) from behind the arc.
Both the Cougars and the Broncos started the game with aggressive defense, limiting the offensive opportunities on both ends of the floor. Steed hit the first basket of the game and then a minute later found Xojian Harry open on the break for a layup to tie the score at 4-4 going into the first media timeout.
Santa Clara opened up an early 10-6 before BYU tied the score at 10 apiece following a Morgan Bailey a layup and a steal and a fast break layup by Garfield with just over eight minutes left in the half.
After the media timeout, Garfield hit two free throws to give the Cougars their first lead of the night at 12-10. Garfield found Bailey underneath for a reverse layup to extend the lead to four with just under six minutes remaining in the first half. Kim Parker Beeston hit a three with two minutes left to push the lead to nine points at 19-10 before Santa Clara’s Nici Gilday hit two jumpers with under a minute left to make the halftime score 19-14.
The BYU defense held the Broncos scoreless for over nine minutes and to just 22 percent (6-27) shooting overall for the first half. The 14 points by Santa Clara was the lowest point total recorded by an opponent this season.
Hamson started the second half by grabbing three rebounds and scoring all six of the Cougars’ points to push the lead back to nine at 25-16 and force an early time out by Santa Clara.
Following the timeout, the offense went back to Hamson for a sweet reverse layup and on the next possession, hitting Keilani Unga for a baseline jumper to push the lead to 11. Steed found Harry alone on the wing for a three to push the lead to 32-18 and cause Santa Clara to call their second timeout of the half.
With the Bronco’s center in foul trouble, the offense continued to go inside. Bailey found a cutting Hamson open for an easy layup and Steed found Beeston for an open jumper to double the score 36-18.
Santa Clara went on a quick 6-1 run to cut the score to 37-24 with just over 10 minutes left in the second half. The Cougars responded by hitting two threes 30 seconds apart to stop the run. Steed drove the lane and found Beeston alone on the wing for a three and the next time down the court, Bailey found herself uncovered behind the arc and knocked down a three to push the lead to 43-24.
After the third media timeout of the second half, Beeston hit Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn for a corner trey to give BYU its biggest lead of the night at 50-30. Following two free throws by the Broncos, Steed pushed the lead back to 20 with a nifty layup in the lane.
The Cougars travel to southern California to take on Pepperdine on Saturday at 2 p.m. PST. The game will be broadcast live on BYU radio.
BYU held Santa Clara to 14 points at halftime, BYU’s lowest opponent halftime score this season.
The Cougars held the Broncos scoreless for almost nine minutes during the first half.
BYU’s 17-2 run to start the second half put the Cougars ahead 36-18.
BYU led the game in assists 18-8 and in points in the paint 26-12. The Cougar bench outscore the Bronco bench 26-11.
BYU held Santa Clara to 22.2 percent shooting in the first half and 24.6 percent overall. BYU shot 43.9 percent from the field, 40 from beyond the arc. Santa Clara only shot 11.1 percent from 3-point land.
On the boards, the Cougars outrebounded the Broncos 48-36.
Jennifer Hamson led the Cougars on the boards with a career-high 16 and in points with 12, her third double-double of the season and sixth of her career.
Haley Steed led the game in assists with 10. She also had 10 points for a double-double and three steals, tying her for third place all-time at BYU for career steals with Thais Kidd. They both have 273 career steals.
Ashley Garfield contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
Two WCC games on tap this week
Entering the week, BYU women’s basketball is in third place in the latest West Coast Conference standings with a 7-3 mark. On Thursday night the Cougars (16-7) host Santa Clara (13-11, 5-6) at 7 p.m. MST in a “pink” game for breast cancer awareness. The Cougars and Broncos matchup will be broadcast live on BYUtv. Then on Saturday, BYU is at Pepperdine (4-18, 1-10) in a 2 p.m. PST tip off. That game airs live on BYU Radio.
The Cougar team has outrebounded its opponents in 14 of the 23 games played. The BYU bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 432-279. When comparing points in the paint, the Cougars have scored 582 points to 504 from opponents. BYU has had a halftime lead in all but six games to date (vs. SD, vs. SMC, 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 11 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: #4 Kim Parker Beeston, 10.5 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 7.3 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #33 Haley Steed, 7.7 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #33 Steed, 2.0 spg
BYU’S PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
#33 Haley Steed – (5-4 guard, GS.) 10.3 ppg; 4.0 rpg; 7.7 apg
#4 Kim Parker Beeston – (5-11 guard, Jr.) 10.5 ppg; 4.0 rpg; 2.2 apg
#12 Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn – (6-0 guard/forward, Jr.) 6.4 ppg; 2.6 rpg; 1.4 apg
#45 Keilani Unga – (6-2 forward, Sr.) 7.0 ppg; 4.3 rpg; 0.9 apg
#5 Jennifer Hamson – (6-7 center, Jr.) 8.8 ppg; 7.3 rpg; 0.5 apg
Santa Clara Capsule
Santa Clara has compiled a 13-11 record, going 5-6 in league action, which puts them in fifth place in the standings. They were at San Francisco on Saturday afternoon where they picked up a 69-64 win. 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 4th season with Santa Clara
• Team’s leading scorer: #4 Ricki Radanovich, 11.1 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #33 Ruta Zurauskyte, 7.0 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #21 Raquel Avila, 3.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #4 Radanovich, 2.0 spg
BYU leads the series 5-1.
In the first meeting between these two teams, BYU recorded a 65-48 road win at the Leavey Event Center in Santa Clara on Feb. 2. Haley Steed led all scorers with 17 points while also contributing six assists and four steals. Keilani Unga put up 13 points and led the team with seven rebounds. The Cougars got off to a quick start and after 20 minutes of action took a 30-17 lead at the break. Santa Clara chipped away at the BYU lead cutting it to only nine points with just under four minutes remaining in the game. A steal by Unga led to a jumper by Kim Parker Beeston, cutting off the Bronco’s advance with 1:49 to play. The Cougars sealed the game from the free throw line. For the game, BYU shot 37 percent form 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. Ruta Zurauskyte, who picked up a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, led the Broncos.
Entering this week’s league play, Pepperdine has a 4-18, 1-10 record. They played at San Diego on Monday where they fell to the Toreros 71-50. The Waves return one starter and eight letterwinners.
• Head coach: Julie Rousseau is in her ninth year at San Diego
• Team’s leading scorer: #1 Robie Mayberry, 10.6 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #1 Mayberry, 5.4 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #22 Cooney-Williams, 2.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #11 Ea Shoushtari, 1.8 spg
BYU leads the series 4-2
These two teams met earlier this year in Provo where the Cougars recorded a 68-42 victory on Jan. 12. Kim Parker Beeston led four Cougars in double figures with 15 points. Haley Steed had 12 points while going 2-3 from behind the arc with nine assists, Jennifer Hamson had 10 points and nine rebounds and Ashley Garfield had 10 points and six rebounds. Pepperdine was led by Kelsey Patrick who scored 11 points and pulled down four rebounds. BYU had a 10-point, 30-20 advantage at halftime. The Cougars pushed their lead to over 20 points late in the second half. BYU used its length and speed to force eight turnovers and outrebound the Waves 21-15 to maintain its lead for the remainder of the game. The Cougars shot 47 percent from the field, holding Pepperdine to only 25 percent shooting.
After the road game at Pepperdine, the Cougars return home for their final two league games. They host Portland on Thurs. Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. MST. BYU then battles Gonzaga on Sat., Feb. 23 at 2 p.m., MST. Both games can be seen live on BYUtv. During Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs, the athletic department will retire the jersey worn by Jackie Beene McBride. The team will also recognize its two departing seniors, Keilani Unga and Haley Steed.