Cougar women open up hoops season at South Dakota State
PROVO, Utah — After going 1-1 in two exhibition games, BYU women’s basketball opens up the 2014-15 campaign on the road. The Cougars (0-0) travel to Brookings, South Dakota, to take on South Dakota State (0-0) on Friday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. MST.
Live audio, stats and video streaming is available on the women's basketball schedule page.
BYU returns nine letterwinners including three starters from last year’s squad that recorded the most wins in program history (28), played in the championship game of the West Coast Conference and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen losing to eventual champion UConn. The team finished the year ranked No. 18 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll, the second highest ever end of the year ranking. In this year’s preseason poll, the Cougars are receiving votes (16).
The three returning starters are 6-foot-2 senior forward Morgan Bailey, the team’s rebounding leader (7.0) and second leading scorer (10.7). Junior Lexi Eaton, a 5-foot-10 guard, averaged 16.8 points a game and had the team’s best free throw percentage .834 (171-205) last year. The third starter back is junior guard Kylie Maeda. She dished out 112 assists and had 27 steals while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range a year ago.
Key returning letterwinners include senior guards Ashley Garfield (4.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg), and Xojian Harry (3.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg). Both played in all games last year. Sophomores Makenzi Morrison (2.7 ppg, 0.6 rpg), Kristine Fuller (0.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg) and Micaelee Orton (0.7 ppg, 0.8 rpg) bring a full year of playing experience behind them.
Two redshirt freshmen Cassie Broadhead, a 5-foot-9 guard and Savannah Irwin, a 6-foot-5 center will also provide solid minutes for the Cougars off the bench. Two true freshmen Amanda Wayment and Alohi Robins-Hardy will be vying for playing time on the court this year.
Last season, the Cougar team finished the season shooting 44 percent from the field, 73 percent at the free throw line and 36 percent from behind the arc.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) 14th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 L. Eaton, 16.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #41 M. Bailey, 7.0 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #15 K. Maeda, 3.2 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #21 L. Eaton, .89 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #41 M. Bailey & #3 A. Garfield, .43 bpg
About South Dakota State
In their two exhibition games, South Dakota State went 2-0 defeating Northern State 80-64 and South Dakota Mines 77-40.
The Jackrabbits compiled a 26-10 record, finishing first in the Summit League with a 13-1 mark and were undefeated at home. They advanced to the WNIT semifinals last year, losing 63-66 at UTEP.
South Dakota State returns nine letterwinners including three starters. Megan Waytashek was the team’s leading scorer last season contributing 11.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Maria Clarin averaged 8.9 points and pulled down 6.7 boards per contest. Gabby Boever is the third starter back for the Jackrabbits. She scored 6.4 points and 3.1 rebounds a contest.
The team ended the 2013-14 campaign shooting 40 percent from the field, 75 percent from the free throw line and 33 percent from 3-point range.
• Head coach: Aaron Johnson (Gustavus Adolphus, ‘96) 14th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #24 M. Waytashek, 11.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #40 M. Clarin, 6.7 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #4 G. Boever, 2.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #4 G. Boever, 2.4 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #40 M. Clarin, .80 bpg
BYU leads the series 1-0.
These two teams met in Provo last season in the Cougars home opener on Nov. 8, 2013. Kim Beeston led the BYU effort with a career-high six 3-pointers. Beeston and Lexi Eaton finished the game with 18 points apiece followed by 13 points each from Jennifer Hamson and Morgan Bailey. The Cougars were up by 16 points at the break. Megan Waytashek led the Jackrabbits with 12 points. Rachel Walters came off the bench contributing nine points, two rebounds and one assist. Gabby Boever tallied four points and team bests in assists with three and in steals with four. The Cougars outrebounded South Dakota State 46 to 39 and 12 to six in steals.
Following the road contest at South Dakota State, BYU returns to the Marriott Center for two games. The Cougars open up the home slate hosting Cal State Northridge (CSUN) on Wed. Nov 19 and Nevada on Sat. Nov. 22.
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