Eaton leads Cougars to win over Nevada
PROVO, Utah – Lexi Eaton scored a season-high 29 points to lead BYU to a 65-60 victory over Nevada Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
"I’m glad we got our first win," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Sometimes that’s the hardest. I was really happy with our defense, especially the last four minutes of the game. Lexi came out and played the way Lexi can play. We need that from her. I’m excited to go to Hawaii and hopefully get better."
Eaton made a career-high six 3-pointers to go along with six rebounds and three steals. Morgan Bailey had a double-double, grabbing a career-high 17 rebounds and chipping in 12 points and three steals.
The first half was sloppy for both teams. BYU (1-2) and Nevada (1-2) had back-to-back turnovers, and when BYU committed its second turnover, Nevada was able to convert for the first field goal of the game. Eaton then charged to the basket for the Cougars’ first points.
After three 3-pointers in a row, two from Eaton and one from Ashley Garfield, BYU was up 11-5 with 15:15 left in the first half. But the barrage of threes did not stop there. The Cougars made eight 3-pointers in the first half, going 8 of 16. Eaton made five treys by herself before halftime.
A great hustle play by Xojian Harry to grab the offensive rebound and keep the ball after a missed free throw set herself up to knock down a shot from beyond-the-arc. In the following play, Eaton stole the ball and made a quick layup to put BYU up 25-14 with 8:45 left in the first half.
Both teams played physical, committing a total of 23 fouls in the first half. Nevada’s Emily Burns scored the team’s last five points of the half, including a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left. The Cougars ended the first 20 minutes on a 9-3 run, leading the Wolf Pack 41-33 at the half.
BYU started off the second half with a 6-0 run, including a trey from Makenzi Morrison. The Wolf Pack then gained some momentum after three turnovers by the Cougars. Another 3-pointer from Eaton pushed BYU’s lead back up to 50-39 with 15:21 left in the game. Eaton's layup ended BYU’s three-minute drought without a field goal, which made the score 54-46 with 10:00 left.
Nevada kept the game close. Ashlee Jones made a three and a transition bucket to score five in a row for the Wolf Pack and make the score 56-51 with 7:05 in the game. A jumper from Eaton pushed the lead, but Nevada answered back with a three and a layup with 3:43 left to make the score 58-56.
Free throws kept the Wolf Pack in the game. Nevada shot 19 of 30 from the charity stripe. Kelsey Kaelin made both of her free throws with 33 seconds left to get within three of BYU, 63-60. Eaton made key free throws down the stretch to keep the 65-60 lead and win the game.
The Cougars play their next game in the Tom Weston Invitational against Butler in Laie, Hawai’i, on Nov. 26. Live stats will be available on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
BYU hit 5 of 7 3-pointers to begin the game. It finished with 10 made from beyond-the-arc. The Cougars held the Wolf Pack to 19 percent 3-point shooting, hitting just 3 of 16.
Nevada led for the first 2:27 of the first half. The Cougars were in control for the remainder of the game.
BYU had 15 assists in the game compared to 12 for Nevada. Additionally, the Cougars had 20 bench points to the Wolf Pack’s six.
BYU hit 38 percent of its shots from the floor while holding Nevada to 33 percent.
Lexi Eaton had double figure scoring within the first seven minutes of the game, hitting her third 3-pointer of the night. She finished the evening with 29 points (second-highest total of her career) and a career-high six made 3-pointers to go along with six boards.
Morgan Bailey had a double-double of 12 points and 17 rebounds. Her 17 boards set a new career high. This was the first double-double of the season for Bailey.
Kylie Maeda led the team in assists with four.
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