1998-1999 Women's Basketball Season Summary

Amanda Covington

Highlighted by an invitation to the Women's 1999 NIT, the first invitation to a post-season tournament since 1993, Coach Trent Shippen ended his second year at the helm of BYU's women's basketball team with an impressive 16-13, 9-5 record for the 1998-99 year.

In the first round of the NIT, the Cougars traveled to Boulder, Colorado for a first-round game against the Colorado Buffaloes, falling 53-70 before over 17-hundred fans. BYU's previous NIT appearance was during the 1981-82 season where they posted a 2-1 record with wins over DePaul and Illinois State and a lost to Florida State.

Other highlights included a 7-0 undefeated conference record, something the Cougar women's program had not done since the 1991-92 season. Trent Shippen's staff has also made the BYU team tremendously popular and fun with the student and family crowd, averaging over 900 fans cheering on his team at the Marriott Center.

Junior Cady Williams, a transfer from Ricks College, followed her former coach and played her first year with the BYU program. The Shippen-Williams connection proved a plus for the Cougars as Williams led the team in points, averaging 12.6 ppg, and 4.6 rpg. Williams also made the WAC's Pacific Division All-Conference Second Team along with teammate Jill Adams, the squads leading rebounder with 6.0 per game as well as the best free-throw percentage at (.867, 52-60). Adams was second in scoring for BYU with 10.5 ppg.

Senior and team co-captain Amanda Covington finished her second season with the Cougars ranked third in scoring with 7.3 ppg as well as the team's assist leader, dishing out 3.2 assists per game. Covington was named to the WAC's Pacific Division All Defensive team.

The Cougars became accustomed to playing in front of large hostile crowds, an average of 2,100 fans, posting a 5-10 record in their 15 road games during the 1998-99 season. BYU faced its largest crowd 7,123 as it entered "The Pit" on February 25 where the Cougars lost by eight points, 60-68 to New Mexico. Over 6,900 fans saw BYU play against Southwest Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri, an 80-52 victory for the home standing SWMS. Their third highest hostile crowd in Salt Lake City, playing the Utes at the Huntsman Center in front of 5,456 fans.

At home BYU averaged over 900 fans cheering them at the Marriott Center. The Cougars largest home crowd of the season, 1,748 was on January 30th when BYU beat New Mexico 73-55. On two other occasions, over 1,300 fans cheered the Cougars to victories. On January 2nd, 1,321 fans were on hand as BYU lost by five points 57-62 to the University of Portland. A happier Cougar crowd of 1,380 was in attendance on January 9 when BYU beat instate rival Utah 57-54.

The team's final season ending stats included averaging 68.0 points per game, shooting .443 (716-1616) from the field, .335 (158-471) from three-point range and .722 (382-529) at the free-throw line. The Cougars scored a season-high 100 points vs Fresno State on February 18, and nine three-point field goals in the game against New Mexico on January 30.

Individual season highs included Cady Williams' 28 points against Boise State on December 12. Williams, Adams and Covington started in all 29 games for the Cougars. April Hayes, Lisa Osguthorpe and Stacy Jensen came off the bench in all 29 games with Jensen starting in the last eleven.

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