(Photo by Marcos Escalona/BYU Photo)
On a five game winning streak, the BYU women’s basketball team (5-0) returns to the Marriott Center for another battle against a Pac-12 foe. The Cougars take on Arizona (1-5) on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 2 p.m. The game can be seen live on BYUtv.
The 5-0 start to the 2013-14 season is the team’s best start since the 2005-06 campaign when they went 8-0 before losing a home game to NC State. BYU is averaging 76 points per game, holding opponents to 65 and has three players in double digit scoring. They have outrebounded their opponents, recorded more assists and more blocks in all games played.
BYU returns nine letterwinners and two starters from a team that compiled a 23-11 record last season, finished tied for third in the West Coast Conference and competed for the second straight year in the postseason WNIT.
In the coaches’ preseason poll, the Cougar women were picked to finish fourth in the WCC regular season race behind San Diego, Saint Mary’s and league favorite Gonzaga. Senior center Jennifer Hamson was named to the preseason all-conference team, her second such honor.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) enters his 13th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 19.6 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 J. Hamson, 9.0 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #4 Beeston, 5.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #4 Beeston, 1.6 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #5 J. Hamson, 3.8 bpg
The University of Arizona has compiled a 1-5 record to date with their lone win, a 51-49 victory at UC Santa Barbara.
The Wildcats returns seven letterwinners including four starters from last year’s team that finished with a 12-18 record.
Arizona was picked to finish league play in 11th place. The Wildcats are the second of three teams that BYU plays from the Pac-12 conference.
• Head coach: Niya Butts (Tennessee, 2000) begins 6th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #1 Candice Warthen, 16.0 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #24 LaBrittney Jones, 6.3 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #1 C. Warthen, 3.5 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #1 C. Warthen, 2.0 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #24 L. Jones, 1.2 bpg
BYU leads the series 7-5
These two teams met last season on Nov. 20 in Tucson with BYU coming out with the 62-48 victory behind a double-double from Jennifer Hamson who was making her season debut with the women’s basketball team. She played 27 minutes scoring a season-high 23 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Both were game highs. Lexi Eaton and Kim Beeston joined Hamson in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Eaton was perfect from the line, knocking in 6 of 6. Beeston added five assists and three steals.
BYU’s bench outscored Arizona 13-3 and scored 36 points in the paint to the Wildcats’ 10.
The Cougars took a 28-21 lead at halftime and with 15:52 remaining in the contest were up by 15, 38-23. BYU led by 17 with five minutes to go when the Wildcats mounted a comeback with back-to-back treys to cut the lead to 10 with 2:38 to play. Two shots from the line brought the Wildcats within eight.
Hamson halted the 8-0 Arizona run with a layup for BYU before Eaton hit both free throws to extend its lead to 60-48 with 1:22 on the clock.
After playing at home for two games, the Cougar women play their next three on the road. BYU will battle Nevada in Reno on Tuesday, Dec. 3 followed by a game against Creighton in Omaha on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The team then takes a short road trip to Ogden to take on Weber State on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.
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