Women head to northern California for two important WCC games
PROVO, Utah —BYU women’s basketball has compiled a 15-5, 7-2 record and is tied with Saint Mary’s for second place entering this week’s West Coast Conference standings.
The Cougar women go on the road to start the second half of the conference season. BYU travels to northern California to take on San Francisco (13-7, 4-5) on Thursday, Jan. 29, and Santa Clara (7-11, 2-7) on Saturday, Jan. 31.
When playing on the road, the Cougars have compiled a 6-2 overall record, including going 3-1 in WCC action.
The combined 63 points from Lexi Eaton’s 32 and Morgan Bailey’s 31 points in the win over Pacific on Jan. 15 were the first in program history. No two players have ever scored 30-plus points each in the same game.
Lexi Eaton, a 5-foot-10 junior guard/forward combo, leads the Cougars in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game. She ranks third in rebounds, pulling down 5.9 boards a contest. Morgan Bailey, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, is in second place in scoring, tallying 18.4 points while leading the way in rebounding, averaging 10.8 boards per game. The team’s assist leader is Kylie Maeda, who averages 4.5 assists a game.
After playing 20 games, BYU is averaging 68.7 points per game, while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 69.4 percent at the free-throw line and 36.7 percent from 3-point land. In all but three games, (at LMU, vs. USF and at Gonzaga), BYU has dished out more assists than its opponents. Most recently, in the home game vs. SMC, both teams tied in the assists category with 11 each. The Cougars have recorded more rebounds in 11 contests to date, have a 12-1 mark when leading at the break and have scored at least 80 points in five games (most recent, a season-high 89 vs. Pacific).
The team has also had three players score in double figures in seven contests, (most recent vs. USD) and has had four players finish with double-digit points in two, (most recent vs. UNLV).
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) 14th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 L. Eaton, 19.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #41 M. Bailey, 10.8 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #15 K. Maeda, 4.5 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #23 M. Morrison, 1.4 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #41, M. Bailey, .55 bpg
About SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco has a 13-7, 4-5 record to date and is in fourth place in this week’s WCC standings. The Dons are coming off two road wins over Pepperdine and LMU and are on a four-game win streak.
All five of San Francisco’s starters return this year. Last season, the team went 12-19, 6-12, finishing in sixth place in the conference regular season. The Dons were picked to finish sixth in this year’s league race.
Three players are scoring in double figures for USF, led by Taylor Proctor who averages 15.8 points and a team-best 8.1 rebounds per game. Taj Winston and Zhane Dikes are the other two players putting up double digits in points with 10.4 each. San Francisco scores 67.4 points a game, grabs 39.5 rebounds, shoots 41.3 percent from the field and 73.8 percent from the free-throw line. When attempting shots from behind the arc, USF is shooting 28.5 percent.
• Head coach: Jennifer Azzi (Stanford, 1990) Fifth season
• Team’s leading scorer: #32 T. Proctor, 15.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #32 T. Proctor, 8.1 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #1 Z. Dikes, 2.5 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #2 T. Winston, 2.5 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #92 T. Winston, 1.1 bpg
BYU leads the series 8-1. When playing in San Francisco, the Cougars are 4-1.
In the first game in this year’s WCC race, the two teams played in Provo on Jan. 3, where the Cougars picked up the three-point, 65-62 win. Morgan Bailey recorded a double-double to lead BYU with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Lexi Eaton also put up double digits in points with 18 with Ashley Garfield tying for team bests in rebounds with 12.
USF took a 35-33 two-point lead at the break. After the Cougars tied the game at 35-35 on a Bailey lay-in, both teams battled back-and-forth exchanging the lead. BYU was up 62-60 with less than two minutes left after a 3-pointer by USF. Kylie Maeda sealed the Cougar win with four-straight free throws in the closing seconds of the game.
About SANTA CLARA
The Broncos are 7-11, 2-7 on the year and will host San Diego on Thursday before playing the Cougars on their home court on Saturday afternoon. SCU is in fifth place in the WCC regular season race.
Santa Clara returns eight letterwinners, including three starters from last year’s squad that compiled a 10-20, 6-12 record and finished tied for seventh in the WCC regular season. This season, under first-year coach JR Payne, SCU was picked to finish in last place in the WCC regular season battle.
Nici Gilday, who is averaging 18.8 points per game, leads the Broncos. Teammate Maria Bertholdt nearly scores in double digits, averaging 9.4 points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds a contest. Santa Clara scores 66.3 points, grabs 43.0 rebounds while shooting 38.8 from the field, 28.7 from behind the arc and 70.3 percent at the free-throw line.
• Head coach: JR Payne (St. Mary’s, 1999) First season
• Team’s leading scorer: #12 N. Gilday, 18.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #15 M. Bertholdt, 7.4 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #21 R. Avila, 3.4 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #12 N. Gilday, 1.6 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #44 M. Allen, 1.5 bpg
BYU leads the series 9-1. In Santa Clara, BYU has a 4-1 mark. Head coach Jeff Judkins has a perfect 9-0 mark vs. SCU.
The first league game in this year’s WCC race was played in Provo on Jan. 1. In that contest, the Cougars recorded an 84-55 victory with three BYU players tallying double digits in points. Lexi Eaton led the way with a game-high 22 points. Xojian Harry came off the bench to score 12 points in 20 minutes of action. Makenzi Morrison was the third Cougar player to put up double-digit points with 10. Morgan Bailey pulled down a game-best 14 rebounds to go along with her eight points and a game-high seven assists.
BYU enjoyed a 15-point, 40-25 advantage at the break and extended its lead to 23, 68-45, with just over eight minutes left in the game. The Cougars finished the game with a 29-point lead. In the game, all available BYU players got some playing time on the court.
After the road trip to northern California, the Cougar women return home to host Pepperdine and LMU on Feb. 5 and Feb. 7, respectively. The game vs. the Waves is scheduled to air live on BYUtv while the contest vs. LMU will be available on the internet on TheW.tv.
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