Eaton's 29 points lead BYU past Utah State
“You have to give the girls a lot of credit tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “They had some things go against them and they bounced back. Then, Lexi made a big basket to force overtime.”
BYU (8-3) has now won five straight games, while Utah State (3-9) lost its first game at home this season.
Eaton led all scorers with 29 points and added eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Her 12 made free throws on 14 attempts were a career-high. Bailey contributed 19 points along with a career-high, 22 rebounds. As a team, BYU overcame 31 percent shooting from the field with a strong defensive effort forcing 22 Utah State turnovers.
The teams traded baskets for the first six minutes of the first half before the Cougars went on a 10-3 run to take an 18-11 lead. Eaton scored six points and BYU forced three turnovers during the run to take a lead it would hold the whole first half.
BYU led 23-18 at the half from Eaton’s 11 points and four rebounds. Bailey tallied eight points and eight rebounds at the break.
The Cougars were active defensively forcing 12 turnovers in the first half and holding the Aggies under 35 percent shooting from the field.
Utah State began the second half scoring five straight points to tie the game at 23, and took a 27-25 lead at the 17:15 mark of the second half. BYU then went on a 16-3 run to take an 11-point lead.
Xojian Harry hit the Cougars’ first 3-pointer of the game during the run at the 6:36 mark of the second half, extending BYU’s lead to 38-30. After an Eaton 3-pointer, the Cougars held its largest lead of the game, 41-30, with only six minutes remaining.
The Aggies battled back to take a 50-48 lead with 15 seconds left. After a timeout, Eaton drove past an Aggie defender and scored her 25th point of the game with four seconds left to force overtime.
Bailey scored the first points of overtime giving BYU a 52-50 lead on a layup with 3:57 on the clock. Utah State answered with 33 seconds remaining and tied the game up, 52-52. A second overtime was forced after both the Cougars and Aggies missed open looks in the last 10 seconds of the first overtime.
After 3-point field goals from Harry and Makenzi Morrison, BYU held a 60-56 lead with 1:58 left in the second overtime. Utah State closed the gap to 60-58 but Eaton iced the game with two made free throws with nine seconds left.
“We should have played better tonight, but we did a lot of good things,” Morgan Bailey said. “We found a way to win, and that’s hard to do when you’ve been down. I’m proud of our team.”
The Cougars open up West Coast Conference action on the road for their first two league games. BYU travels to Spokane to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Dec. 27, then head to Portland to battle the Pilots on Dec. 29.
The four-point, 62-58 win over Utah State gives the Cougar women a perfect 4-0 mark against schools from the Mountain West Conference.
The double overtime game and win are the first for BYU this season.
BYU picked up 18 points in the point to USU’s 12 in the first half of action. For the game, the Cougars finished with 32 compared with 30 for the Aggies.
BYU tallied 10 fast break points to USU’s two.
The Cougars recorded season bests in rebounds vs. the Aggies with 50.
Including tonight’s game, the Cougars have recorded more assists than their opponents in all contests played. Against Utah State they dished out 11 to the Aggies eight.
The Aggies finished with a 9 to 1 advantage in blocks and edge the Cougars in second chance opportunities, 15 to 9.
Lexi Eaton led all scorers at the break with 11 points making it the ninth game recording double digits in scoring. She finished with a game-high 23 points, along with eight rebounds, a game-best four assists and two steals. The 29 points mark the fourth time on the year that she’s had a 20-plus point outing.
Morgan Bailey nearly had a double-double at halftime with eight points and a first-half best eight rebounds. With 9:28 left in the game, she made a layup for her 10th points on the night and her third double-double of the year. She had pulled down her 10th rebound at the 12: 50 mark in the second half. Bailey ended the game with 19 points and a game- and career-high 22 rebounds.
BYU women's basketball head coach Amber Whiting will participate in leading youth clinics this summer during the “Big…