Morrison's record performance gets victory over Pepperdine
MALIBU, California – Perfect 3-point shooting from Makenzi Morrison gave BYU women’s basketball the 84-78 edge over Pepperdine on the road on Saturday.
“I’m proud of these guys,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “This team has done a great job of executing plays when we really need a basket. I think this team is very confident. They aren’t afraid of being down by 10 points. This game was great for Makenzi. She struggled with confidence early in the season, but then she went to the gym and worked on it.”
Morrison scored a career-high 25 points on 8 of 9 shooting, a BYU record 7 of 7 from beyond the arc. She also dished out three assists.
“I just shot like I normally do and it felt good,” Morrison said. “I really worked on trying to eliminate any extra movement. I also knew I had to be ready for the kick out because they were doubling Lexi and Morgan.”
Lexi Eaton led all scorers with 29 points, including 14 of 19 from the charity stripe. Morgan Bailey grabbed 14 rebounds and scored nine points. In her first start of the season, Xojian Harry had six points, three rebounds and three assists.
BYU (13-4, 5-1) scored its first points of the game off of free throws from Harry and Eaton. A three from Morrison gave the Cougars their first lead, 7-6 with 15:40 remaining in the first half. Pepperdine (6-10, 1-4) responded with tough defense and went on a 13-2 run to go up 19-9.
A 3-pointer from Alohi Robins-Hardy stopped the run and cut the Waves’ lead to 19-12 with 9:53 remaining in the half. The two teams traded points back and forth, neither able to make a run until Morrison nailed a jump shot to spark hot shooting for the Cougars.
In the last five minutes of the first half, BYU made five shots in five possessions in a row to tie the game at 31-31 after Morrison found Bailey down low for the quick layup. Kylie Maeda drove the ball and scored at the buzzer to put the Cougars up 33-31 at the half.
BYU’s hot shooting continued into the second half. Eaton’s first 3-pointer of the day pushed the lead to 41-35 with 17:28 left. The Cougars led 50-41, their largest lead up to that point, after Morrison hit another trey.
The Waves cut the lead to three points after a 6-0 run, but Bailey made free throws to push the lead back up. With 11:08 remaining in the game, Eaton grabbed a defensive rebound and drove it all the way to the basket for a quick layup to make it 55-49.
Pepperdine got within two until BYU went on a 6-0 run of its own to push it to 69-62 with 4:36 left. The Cougars had their largest lead of the night after Morrison made her sixth trey to make their lead 74-64.
Despite a late push by Pepperdine, BYU held on to the 84-78 win with free throw shooting by Eaton and Maeda.
The Cougars will return home on Jan. 15 to take on Pacific at 7 pm. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. Live stats will be available on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
After being down by 10 with 10 minutes left in the first half, the Cougars went on an 8-0 run to close out the half with a two-point, 33-31 on a buzzer-beater by Kylie Maeda. With the win, BYU improved its record to 10-0 when having an advantage at halftime.
BYU had 18 rebounds to Pepperdine’s 17 after the first 20 minutes of action. The Cougars would finish the game with 30 total rebounds. The Waves grabbed three more to finish outrebounding BYU, 33 to 30.
The Cougars dished out 10 assists in the first half, compared with eight for the Waves. BYU tallied 18 total assists in the game, while Pepperdine finished with 15.
For the game, the Cougars finished with 15 points off of Wave turnonvers.
Pepperdine had the advantage on fast break points 16 to 3 and in bench points, 31 to 7.
Makenzi Morrison led the Cougars with eight points at halftime.
She recorded her eighth and second straight double digit outing in points with a career-best 25 points.
With the perfect 7 for 7 from behind the arc field goal percentage, she set the BYU single game record for 3-point field goal percentage. The previous record was held by Heather Cheesman, who she went 6 for 6 from 3-point range in a game vs. Air Force on Jan. 19, 2002.
Morgan Bailey had a first-half best nine rebounds. She ended the contest with a game-high 14 boards along with nine points, four assists and one steal.
Lexi Eaton went into the locker room with six points, three rebounds and one assist.
She picked up her 15th game scoring in double digits with a game-high 29 points.
The 29 points mark the seventh time on the year and the second straight that she’s had a game with 20-plus points.
Alohi Robins-Hardy came off the bench, played nine minutes, scored five points and got two fouls in the first half.
Xojian Harry made her first start of the 2014-15 campaign, the 11th of her career in the road game at Pepperdine.
She tallied six points, three rebounds, and three assists in 37 minutes of action and went 2 for 2 from the free-throw line.
Kylie Maeda dished out a team-best five assists, along with eight points, going 4 for 4 from the free-throw line while also grabbing one rebound.
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