Final two league games at home for Cougar women
PROVO, Utah— The final week of regular season West Coast Conference action has the Cougar women (19-8, 11-5) at home for their last two league games.
BYU hosts Portland (4-23, 2-14) Thurs., Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. MST. On Sat., Feb. 28, the WCC regular season champions Gonzaga Bulldogs (22-5, 14-1) come to Provo for a 2 p.m. MST tip. Both games will air live on BYUtv and Saturday's game will also air on BYU Radio. The Cougars are in fifth place in the league standings, while the Pilots are in last place entering the final week of games.
Lexi Eaton, a 5-foot-10 junior guard/forward combo, leads the Cougars in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game. She ranks third in rebounds, pulling down 6.4 boards a contest. Morgan Bailey, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, is in second place in scoring, tallying 18.1 points while leading the way in rebounding, averaging 10.7 boards per game. Bailey became BYU’s 26th player to eclipse 1,000 points in the USF game in San Francisco. The team’s assist leader is Kylie Maeda, who averages 4.4 assists a game.
BYU is averaging 69.0 points per game, while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 70.1 percent at the free-throw line and 35.8 percent from 3-point land. In 21 games (most recent at Pacific) the Cougars have dished out more assists than their opponents and have pulled down more rebounds in 14 contests to date. When leading at the break, they are 15-2 and have scored at least 80 points in six games (most recent, 82 at Pacific)
The team has had four players score in double figures in four contests, (most recent at Pacific) and has had three players finish with double-digit points in nine games (most recent at Saint Mary’s).
BYU head coach Jeff Judkins recorded his 300th win with the 77-58 home victory over Pepperdine on Feb. 5, 2015. The team is one win away from the program’s sixth straight 20-win season, the eighth under Judkins.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) 14th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 L. Eaton, 21.1 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #41 M. Bailey, 10.7 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #15 K. Maeda, 4.4 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #23 M. Morrison, 1.5 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #41, M. Bailey, .54 bpg
The Pilots has compiled a 4-23, 2-14 record to date. They are coming off home losses to Pacific and Saint Mary’s. The team’s two league wins were over LMU and Pepperdine.
Cassandra Brown, Kari Luttinen and Jasmine Wooton are the three Portland players scoring double digits. Brown tops the list with 17.8 points, Luttinen follows with 14.0 points and Wooton contributes 11.3 points to the Pilots offensive output. Cassandra Thompson grabs the most rebounds with 6.5 boards a game. As a team, the Pilots are putting up 63.6 points, grabbing 35.1 rebounds and shooting 40.6 percent from the field, 36.5 from behind the arc and 74.1 from the free-throw line.
• Head coach: Cheryl Sorenson (Washington, ‘03) First year
• Team’s leading scorer: #22 C. Brown, 17.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #30 C. Thompson, 6.5 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 J. Wooton, 3.3 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #23 K. Luttinen, 1.4 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #35 S. Zaragoza, 1.3 bpg
BYU leads the series 15-4. When playing in Provo, the Pilots are 2-6.
In the first meeting, the Cougars recorded the 83-79 win in Portland on Dec. 29.
Morgan Bailey had a game- and career-high 31 points and with a game-high 11 rebounds, picking up her fifth double-double of the year. Kylie Maeda and Lexi Eaton also tallied double digits in points with 17 and 16, respectively. The 17 points for Maeda were season and career bests.
In the waning minutes of the game, Maeda hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one and another Bailey bucket gave the Cougars their first lead of the second half at 80-79 with 39 seconds showing on the clock.
A Pilot turnover gave BYU the ball with 24 seconds on the clock. Eaton hit two shots from the charity stripe to give the Cougars an 82-79 edge and a free throw from Morrison sealed the BYU win.
The Cougars were down by 10, 75-65 with 5:48 left in the game.
Gonzaga clinched the 2014 WCC regular season title last week and will be the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament. The Bulldogs have compiled a 22-5, 15-1 record and are at San Diego on Thursday before heading to Provo to play BYU on Saturday.
Three players are scoring in double digits for Gonzaga, led by 13.7 points from Sunny Greinacher, while teammate Keani Albanez contributes 12.9 points. Elle Tinkle rounds out the double-figure scoring with 12.0 points. Shelby Cheslek tops the leaderboard in the rebound category, averaging 8.7 boards per contest. The Zags score 72.3 points and grab 40.9 rebounds, while shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 76.9 percent at the free-throw line. From 3-point range, Gonzaga is shooting 36.3 percent.
• Head coach: Lisa Fortier (Cal State Monterey Bay, 2004) First Season
• Team’s leading scorer: #14 S. Greinacher, 13.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #44 S. Cheslek, 8.7 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #5 G. Stirton, 3.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #24 K. Albanez, 2.3 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #44 S. Cheslek, 1.5 bpg
The Bulldogs lead the series 10-6 and in Provo, Gonzaga is 2-3. Head coach Jeff Judkins is 3-9 against the Zags.
The first meeting between these two league foes was playing in Spokane on Dec. 27, with Gonzaga recording the 78-62 victory. Lexi Eaton and Morgan Bailey led the way for BYU with 13 points apiece while Ashley Garfield and Xojian Harry topped the rebound category with seven each.
The Cougars found themselves down by eight, 29-21, with less than eight minutes left in the first half. BYU tried to hold Gonzaga to a single-digit lead before the half after Eaton made a jump shot with 38 seconds left, but Georgia Stirton made a layup to take the 45-34 lead going into halftime. Gonzaga made 12 of 13 free throws while BYU only shot two of four.
Bailey led the Cougars early in the second half with the first three field goals. A pair of made free throws from Morrison made it 42-48 with 16:50 remaining. Gonzaga answered back with a 10-0 run to push the lead back to double digits, 58-42, with 14:15 left.
A layup by Bailey with 10:42 remaining cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 10, 63-53. With 3:40 left, Garfield made a bucket to make it 58-74, but the Cougars were not able to score again until Kristine Fuller made a jumper with 50 seconds left. Alohi Robins-Hardy made two free throws to make the final score 62-78.
After the final two WCC regular season games, the Cougars will prepare to compete in the 2015 WCC women’s basketball championships held in Las Vegas from Mar. 5-10 at the Orleans Arena. The winner of the conference championship receives an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
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