Gaels slip past Cougars 61-51
PROVO, Utah –Despite a double-double by Morgan Bailey and a halftime lead, BYU women’s basketball could not hold on against Saint Mary’s, falling 61-51 Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center.
Bailey ended the game with 17 points, including a season-high 3 of 5 from three-point range and 10 rebounds. Lexi Eaton also had 17 points and helped out with seven rebounds, rounding out the only two to score in double figures for the Cougars (14-5, 6-2 West Coast Conference).
“Rough night,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought we had good looks tonight, but you just can’t shoot 20 percent, especially with wide open shots, and not make it when the whole team’s in the paint.”
BYU shot 28.3 percent in the game to 40 percent for Saint Mary’s (13-5, 6-1 WCC). The Gaels also outrebounded the Cougars 52-29.
“I thought the game was won and lost defensively,” Judkins said. “We didn’t defend as well in the second half as we did the first half. We gave them a lot of easy baskets, and then we come down to the other end, can’t hit a shot. We’ve got to do a better job.”
Coming out of the half with a seven-point lead, point guard Kylie Maeda knocked down a three for BYU’s largest lead of the game, 34-24, early in the second half.
Saint Mary’s then began chipping away at the deficit, holding steady on the boards, converting a three-point play following two offensive rebounds and another layup to cut the lead to five.
Bailey then knocked down her third trey of the game to put BYU back up by eight before a scoring drought. The Gaels climbed back into the game with the Cougars holding a 37-35 lead heading into a media timeout.
Following the break, Saint Mary’s tied the game at 37 all before Bailey converted in the post for BYU’s first bucket in over six minutes for a 39-37 lead.
The two teams traded baskets until BYU took a 44-41 lead on Maeda's second made 3-pointer. The Gaels then scored four straight points to take a 45-44 advantage.
With 8:33 left Bailey tied the game at 45 with a 1-of-2 trip to the free-throw line, but Saint Mary’s took a four-point lead with 7:28 left in the game, 49-45.
Another scoring drought dampened BYU’s chance at a rally as the Gaels stormed ahead to a 53-45 lead.
With the clock at 1:34, Eaton converted two free throws to cut the lead to six and then to five, 53-48, after she went 1-for-2 from the line on the following possession.
After Saint Mary’s made two free throws with 41 seconds left, Eaton nailed a three to cut the lead to 55-51, but the Gaels went 6-for-6 from the line the rest of the game to seal the outcome.
Leading the way for BYU in the first half were Eaton’s 11 points on 50-percent shooting and Bailey’s nine points, including 2-of-2 from behind the arc and five rebounds.
The first half featured eight lead changes and three ties. BYU had a 31-24 lead due in part to 11 Gael turnovers to only three by the Cougars.
On BYU’s first possession of the game the team worked the ball around patiently before Makenzi Morrison hit a three on the left wing to open up scoring game. Saint Mary’s didn’t answer until roughly two minutes later at about the 17-minute mark.
Bailey hit a three from the top of the key to put the Cougars up 8-4 before the Gaels scored five in a row.
BYU took the lead back as Bailey, deep in the post, flipped the ball around to her right to Xojian Harry for a mid-range jumper to take a 10-9 lead with 13:43 left in the half.
With the game tied at 18, the Cougars sparked a 7-0 run. Bailey scored five-straight including her second three and Morrison added two free throws for a 25-18 lead.
Saint Mary’s broke the run, but Alohi Robins-Hardy answered with a baseline shot to help BYU go back up by seven before an Eaton jumper just inside the right elbow helped the Cougars to their largest lead of the half at nine points.
BYU women's basketball will be back in action at home next Saturday at 2 p.m. MST against San Diego. 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.
This 61-51 loss to Saint Mary’s snaps a six-game win streak for BYU. It is also the first time since Nov. 19 that the Cougars scored under 60 points and just the third time all season.
For the first time this season, BYU lost after having the advantage going into halftime. The Cougars led 31-24 at the half. Going into this game, the Cougars were 11-0 when leading after the first 20 minutes of action.
BYU scored 13 points off of Saint Mary’s turnovers in just the first half. The Cougars’ largest lead was by 10 points with 19:23 remaining in the game.
After the first 20 minutes of action, BYU had four blocks and Saint Mary’s had one. The stats held that way at the end of regulation.
At the half, Saint Mary’s had seven assists and BYU had just six. Both the Gaels and the Cougars ended up dishing out 11 assists each, the first time on the year that the team's ended up tying in the assists category.
BYU was outrebounded 52-29, the eighth time this season that BYU lost the rebounding battle. The Cougars are now 5-3 when an opponent grabs more boards.
Bailey scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, her ninth double-double of the season, 17th of her career. She made three 3-pointers in a game for a season-best. Bailey made four treys against Utah in the 2013-14 season.
This is the second game of the season that Bailey played all 40 minutes. The first was at Pepperdine on Jan. 10.
At the half, Eaton led the team with 11 points. She finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. After hitting two treys tonight, Eaton has made threes in 11 games in a row.
Robins-Hardy grabbed a career-high five rebounds in this game. She played a season-high 21 minutes, passing her previous high of 15 minutes against Gonzaga on Dec. 27.
Maeda made two threes in the second half. She scored six points and dished out three assists.
Morrison had five points and three rebounds. This is the fourth game in a row that she has made a 3-pointer.
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