(Photo by Mark A Philbrick/BYU Photo)
A Sweet 16 finish in the NCAA tournament, a No. 18 final Coaches’ Poll ranking, the most wins in program history (28) and a second place regular season finish in the West Coast Conference highlight one of the most successful and talked about seasons in BYU women’s basketball history.
The Cougars wrapped up the 2013-14 campaign with a 28-7 record, 14-4 in WCC action and a 13-2 Marriott Center record. BYU went 9-0 in its first nine games of the year, the best start in program history. In that run the Cougars picked up an impressive 52-51 victory at Creighton, snapping the Bluejay’s 15-game home win streak. BYU also recorded a 62-52 home win over then ranked No. 15 Gonzaga avenging the Cougars’ loss in Spokane earlier in the year.
Making its 10th appearance in the NCAA tournament, the sixth under coach Jeff Judkins and the second in three years, No. 12 seed BYU had upset on its mind, recording upset wins over No. 5 seed North Carolina State and No. 4 seed Nebraska to advance to the Sweet 16.
In the Sweet 16, the Cougars battled No. 1 Connecticut, giving the Huskies all they could handle, down by just one, 30-29 at the break. In the second half, BYU continued its impressive showing by tying the game at 37 with 16:47 remaining in the contest. UConn had a narrow nine-point, 55-46 advantage with 9:40 left before eventually picking up the 70-51 victory. The Huskies would go on to win the 2014 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. BYU’s appearance in the Sweet 16 was the second in the program’s history.
After being picked to finish fourth in the WCC regular season race, the Cougars exceeded expectations ending the year in second place with a 14-4 mark. BYU swept the series with league foes LMU, Portland, Pepperdine, San Francisco and Santa Clara. They split the series with Gonzaga, San Diego, Saint Mary’s and newcomer Pacific. In the WCC championships, the No. 2 seeded Cougars advanced to the title game, losing to Gonzaga 71-57.
Senior center Jennifer Hamson picked up the league’s top two awards being named WCC Player and Defensive Player of the Year, the first time in conference history that the top honors went to the same student-athlete. Hamson was also named to the 2014 WCC All-Tournament Team. She was joined by teammate Lexi Eaton on the WCC Women’s Basketball First Team. Kim Beeston and Morgan Bailey were WCC Women’s Basketball Honorable Mention Selection.
Hamson who was named Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention, concluded her stellar basketball career setting additional records including a second place all-time standing in blocked shots (340) and third in rebounds (965). She also holds the season record in blocked shots with 147.
For the first time under head coach Jeff Judkins, three players reached BYU’s exclusive 1,000-Points Club. Hamson finished ninth in points with 1,437 with Beeston ranking 19th all-time in scoring with 1,241 points. Sophomore Eaton tallied 1,060 points to conclude the year as the 26th player to reach 1,000 points.
Beeston added three other records in her standout BYU career. She tied for first place in games played with 143, finished fourth in 3-pointers made with 250 and10th all-time in assists with 381.
Additional season records, honors, WCC stats and complete player bios are available below in the attached final notes pdf document.