Cougars maul Waves in 67-44 victory
MALIBU, Calif.—Second-half 3-point shooting gave the BYU women’s basketball team what it needed to easily roll past Pepperdine 67-44 Saturday, despite a low-scoring first half.
“I liked our defense in the second half, we held them to seven or eight points for eight or 10 minutes,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought our defensive intensity was better in the second half. I think we’re playing a lot better than we have been. A lot of players have stepped up.”
Kim Parker Beeston led the Cougars with 16 points scored off five 3-pointers and a free throw. She was joined in double figures by Keilani Unga, whose 12 points in the first half carried BYU for most of the first 20 minutes. She finished with 14. Morgan Bailey and Jennifer Hamson also had double digits in points with 12 and 10, respectively.
On the boards, Beeston contributed nine to tie her career high. Unga and Hamson also had nine rebounds apiece, while Bailey had eight.
Haley Steed had seven assists to lead the game.
BYU shot 45 percent overall from the field, 60.7 percent in the second half. The Cougars shot a whopping 72.7 percent from beyond the arc in the second half to take the significant lead. BYU defense held Pepperdine to shooting 26.6 percent from the field, 19.4 percent in the second half, and 17.6 percent from the 3-point line.
BYU also led in rebounds 49-31 and in points in the paint 32-12.
After falling behind 6-1, Unga pulled BYU back into the game with two layups to tie the score at 8-8. Pepperdine stopped the Cougars’ progress with an 8-0 run to take an 18-10 lead.
BYU worked its way back for a tie at 20, once again by an Unga layup, giving the Cougars the momentum. Moments later, Steed got the ball and thundered down the court, feeding the ball to Unga for a fast-break layup and BYU’s first lead of the game, 24-22. Ea Shoushtari hit Unga on the way up, giving Unga the chance for an old-fashioned three-point play. The free throw gave Unga 12 points on the game to lead both teams. BYU led 25-24 going into halftime.
The second half started with a 3-pointer party, with Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn and Beeston each knocking down one. Shay Cooney-Williams also drained one for Pepperdine.
Hamson launched a 13-0 run for the Cougars with 18:25 left on the clock. Beeston contributed two treys and Seaborn one to the run, which put BYU ahead 44-28.
After 0-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc in the first half, the Cougars made 7 of 8 in the first nine minutes of the second half.
With three Cougars in double figures going into the last 10 minutes, BYU continued its drive toward the finish line. Cougar defense held Pepperdine scoreless from the field for almost six minutes. The BYU bench held off the Waves for the rest of the game, ending with a 67-44 victory.
The Cougars face Portland at home Thursday at 7 p.m. MST, then host league-leader Gonzaga Saturday at 2 p.m. MST.
After going 0-10 from 3-point range in the first half, the Cougars started the second half with back-to-back treys to take a 31-27 lead over the Waves. BYU made 8 of 21 from behind the arc for the game.
For the fourth time on the season the Cougars finished the game with four players scoring in double figures. Kim Parker Beeston (16), Keilani Unga (14), Jennifer Hamson (10), Morgan Bailey (12).
BYU pulled down 49 rebounds to Pepperdine’s 31. It’s the 16th time on the year that the team has grabbed more boards than its opponents.
With 9:20 left in the game, Kim Parker Beeston made her fifth 3-pointer of the game tying her season best in treys made in a game. She concluded the contest with a game-high 16 points. The points mark the 16th time on the year that she’s tallied double digits in points. She also had nine rebounds to lead the game, tied with Unga and Hamson.
Keilani Unga led all scorers in the first half with 12 points making the seventh time putting up double digits in points this season. She ended with 14.
Haley Steed recorded a game high in assists with seven.
Jennifer Hamson had 10 points marking the second straight time and the 10th this season that she has tallied double digits in scoring. She also pulled down nine rebounds.
Coming off the bench, Morgan Bailey recorded her 12th outing scoring in double digits with 12. She also grabbed eight 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.