Steed and Hamson lead BYU to 79-64 home victory over Portland
PROVO, Utah – Haley Steed and Jennifer Hamson combined for 46 points to lead to women’s basketball team to a 79-64 victory over Portland Thursday night at the Marriott Center.
“This was a nice win,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought defensively the first half we didn’t give them a lot of good looks. The looks we did give them they hit. Defensively in the second half, we just got beat off the dribble and didn’t really have the intensity that we needed to have. Haley played a great game. She’s an all-around player and a great scorer when she needs to be.”
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Steed hit a new season-best with 23 points, one point shy of her career best. During the second half, she went 6 for 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the 3-point line. She also finished with nine assists and two steals.
Hamson tied her career best with 23 points in addition to eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Keilani Unga and Ashley Garfield finished with eight and seven points, respectively.
The win helps BYU improve its record to 19-7 overall and 10-3 in the West Coast Conference. Portland falls to 10-17 overall and 5-9 in the WCC.
At the beginning on the contest, BYU jumped out to an early 10-2 lead with two layouts inside from Hamson and Unga and back-to-back 3-pointers from Steed and Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn. Following a Portland basket, Steed found Seaborn to extend the lead 12-4. Throughout the middle of the half, BYU prevented Portland from scoring for six minutes until Portland’s Kari Luttinen hit a 3-pointer capping BYU’s 12-2 run.
The rest of the half BYU outscored Portland 21-11, with Portland scoring its last basket of the half with 5:36 left on the clock. Meanwhile, BYU received points from Steed, Kim Parker Beeston, Hamson, Unga and Morgan Bailey. Going into the half, seven Cougars combined for 33 points. Steed led the pack with seven points and five assists. The team combined for 10 assists and six rebounds.
The story of the second half revolved around Steed and Hamson who combined for 30 points to lead the Cougars to victory. To start things off, Hamson stole the ball from Portland’s Alexis Bird and found Steed, who traveled the length of the floor to hit a jumper from the free-throw line. The next trip down, Steed returned the favor to Hamson finding Hamson on the block to put the Cougars up 37-20.
For the next several minutes both teams exchanged baskets from beyond the arc and from the paint until Steed took control of the game. Steed scored 11 points for the Cougars, two jumpers and three shots from the 3-point line. Hamson contributed four points of her own to put the Cougars up 52-34 with 14:06 left in the half. With 10:04 to go, the Cougars led by 21. Portland fought back cutting the lead to 12, but Hamson continued to dominate in the paint adding six more to extend the lead back to 18. BYU ended the game leading by 15.
BYU returns to the Marriott Center this Saturday at 2 p.m. MST for its last home game of the season to face off against league-leader Gonzaga. The No. 22 jersey won by Jackie Beene McBride will be retired and the two seniors Keilani Unga and Haley Steed will be recognized.
- Head coach Jeff Judkins earned his 250th victory in the win against Portland.
- The Cougars shot 50 percent in the first half, holding the Pilots to 22.6 percent from the field. BYU also outscored in the paint 20-4 during the half.
- BYU shot 51.7 percent on the night. Portland improved to 34.4 percent shooting on the game by the end.
- The Cougars ended with a 42-18 victory in the paint and had more assists at 24-12.
- BYU is now 13-0 at the Marriott Center this season.
- Haley Steed led the way with a season-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers, on 75 percent shooting. It was her 12th double figure game of the season and third with 20 or more points. She also had nine assists to lead the game.
- Jennifer Hamson totaled 23 points to tie her career high and led the game with eight rebounds. It was her 10th double-figure game of the season and second with 20 or more points.
Final two WCC games at home
With just two weeks remaining in the 2013 West Coast Conference season, the BYU women’s basketball team is tied for second place in the latest league standings with Saint Mary’s with identical 9-3 marks. The Cougar women are 18-7 overall and look to stay undefeated at home.
On this week’s slate are two final home games beginning with a Thursday night matchup with Portland (10-16, 5-8) at 7 p.m., MST.
Then on Saturday BYU gets set to host league-leading Gonzaga (22-5, 12-1) in a 2 p.m. MST tip off. At halftime of the Bulldogs and Cougars contest, the No. 22 jersey worn by Jackie Beene McBride will be retired. At the conclusion of the game, the team will recognize its two seniors, Keilani Unga and Haley Steed. Both games air live on BYUtv.
The Cougar team has outrebounded its opponents in 16 of the 25 games played. The BYU bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 476-305. When comparing points in the paint, the Cougars have scored 640 points to 528 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 12 games and four players finished with double-digit scoring in four games (at PEP, vs. PEP, vs. Tulsa, vs. UCSB).
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78), enters his 12th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #4 Kim Beeston, 10.6 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 7.9 rpg
• Team’s assists 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.) 10.0 ppg; 3.9 rpg; 7.7 apg
#4 Kim Parker Beeston– (5-11 guard, Jr.) 10.6 ppg; 4.2 rpg; 2.3 apg
#12 Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn – (6-0 guard/forward, Jr.) 6.2 ppg; 2.6 rpg; 1.4 apg
#45 Keilani Unga– (6-2 forward, Sr.) 7.2 ppg; 4.4 rpg; 0.8 apg
#5 Jennifer Hamson– (6-7 center, Jr.) 9.1 ppg; 7.9 rpg; 0.7 apg
In the latest league standings, Portland is in sixth place with a 5-8 mark. On the season they’ve compiled a 10-16 record. They are coming off two losses to San Francisco and just a six-point set back to Saint Mary’s 49-43 in Portland on Saturday. The Pilots return eight letterwinners including three starters. Last season they finished in seventh place in the WCC race with a 4-12 record.
• Head coach: Jim Sollars is in his 26th season at Portland
• Team’s leading scorer: #23 Kari Luttinen, 12.5 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #33 Amy Pupa, 8.0 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 Jasmine Wooton, 3.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #32 Wooton, 2.2 spg
BYU leads the series 10-4
During last year’s WCC race, the Cougars swept the series with the Pilots capturing a 79-53 win in Portland on Jan. 2 and then getting a 76-55 victory in Provo on Jan. 21.
In the contest in Portland, Kristen Riley and Lexi Eaton led the BYU effort with 19 and 11 points respectively, while Haley Steed tallied five assists and three steals. The Cougars shot 40 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free throw line. They also pulled down more boards, 45-36.
Natalie Day led Portland with 16 points and six rebounds. BYU held the Pilots to 30 percent shooting from the field and 67 percent from the charity stripe.
Jennifer Hamson came off the bench in the game in Provo on Jan. 21 as she collected a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Lexi Eaton finished the game with 16 points with Kim Parker contributing 13 points to the winning effort. Haley Steed had 10 assists. The Cougar bench came up big in the contest outscoring the Pilot bench 34-14. BYU shot 43 percent from the field, Portland shot 33 percent. Cassandra Brown led the Pilots with 14 points with Day contributing 11.
Entering the week, Gonzaga improved its record to 22-5 overall, 12-1 in WCC action with home wins over Saint Mary’s and San Francisco. They are all alone in first place in league play with their only loss coming in early January at Saint Mary’s. The Bulldogs are at Santa Clara Thursday night before making the trip to Provo for Saturday’s game. Gonzaga returns two starters and nine letterwinners. Last year Gonzaga advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen after compiling a 28-6 overall record. They won the 2012 WCC regular season crown with a 14-2 mark.
• Head coach: Kelly Graves is in his 12th season at Gonzaga
• Team’s leading scorer: #3 Haiden Palmer, 12.4 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #44 Shelby Cheslek, 5.4 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #34 Jazmine Redmon, 3.9 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #3 Palmer, 3.0 spg
BYU rounds out the WCC regular season race with two road games. They are at LMU Thurs., Feb. 28 and at Portland on Sat. March 2.
The following week the Cougars travel to Las Vegas to compete in the 2013 Zappos WCC Basketball Championships, March 6-11 at The Orleans Arena. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.