(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Jennifer Hamson and Morgan Bailey led the women’s basketball team to a 67-39 home victory over the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in the teams’ first meeting in five years Tuesday afternoon.
“I thought that we played very good defense, we were very physical," BYU head coach Jeff Judins said. "We did a good job of not letting them get the ball inside where they want to get it. I think Jen (Hamson) and Morgan (Bailey) did a really good job of trying to get position and scoring inside. Keilani (Unga) did a good job on their leading scorer. I'm very lucky I've got a lot of depth on this team. So when people get tired or when there is a mismatch, I can switch up and get what we want and I think that's what happened a lot this afternoon.”
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In addition to Hamson’s 16 points, she also had eight rebounds and three blocks. Bailey finished with 15 points, a career high, and six rebounds. Haley Steed ended the afternoon with seven points and 11 assists.
BYU improves to 7-4 overall. UCSB falls to 4-6 on the year. The series between the two teams is now tied 4-4.
To start things off in the first half, UCSB struck first, but BYU answered right back feeding Hamson in the post to tie the game 2-2. On the defensive end the Cougars forced a UCSB turnover and found Kim Parker Beeston on the other end who hit a three putting the Cougars up 5-3 for their first lead of the night. Following another Gaucho basket, the Cougars found Xojian Harry at the top of the arc who hit another three for the Cougars.
With 12:23 left in the half, the Gauchos tied it up 12-12 before the Cougars went on an 11-0 run putting them up 23-12. Three consecutive times down the court the Cougars found Morgan Bailey for the layup. Following a Gaucho turnover, Kylie Maeda found Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn in the corner who knocked down the third three of the afternoon. The Cougars extended their lead with three more Hamson baskets and a layup from Beeston.
With 1:50 left on the clock, Harry stole the ball from UCSB’s Nicole Nesbit and drove the length of the floor, getting fouled on the layup. Harry hit both free throws putting the Cougars up 33-18. The next trip up the floor Steed found Hamson again in the post for the layup.
With six seconds left on the clock Steed dribbled to half court and in the corner found Seaborn, who hit a baseline jumper at the buzzer.
At the half, the Cougars led 38-20 while shooting 55 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. The Gauchos shot 33 percent from the field with zero shots beyond the arc.
Going into the second half, Steed kept the momentum going for the Cougars, hitting her first trey of the night. On the defensive end, Hamson blocked UCSB’s Kirsten Tilleman twice, while Steed recovered the ball and fed Hamson again in transition to put the Cougars up 43-24. The Cougars’ next possession, Steed fed Beeston who hit her second three of the afternoon. With 14:11 left Steed snatched a defensive rebound, drove the length of the floor and fed Seaborn, who knocked down her second 3-pointer.
BYU led 56-29 with 11:14 left in the game outscoring UCSB 18-9. Two Hamson blocks set up a layup from Ashley Garfield, the Cougar’s first basket after more than five minutes, putting the Cougars up 58-33. Following another Gaucho score, Maeda fed Bailey on an out-of-bounds play. Bailey knocked down her first three of the season, only the third 3-pointer of her career. Bailey scored two more following two free throws with 1:40 left.
The women’s basketball team is back in action on Thursday at 3 p.m. MST against Seattle University at the Marriott Center.
BYU’s 11-0 run in the first half gave the Cougars an 11-point advantage. The Gauchos missed eight straight shots during the run. BYU led 38-20 at halftime.
The Cougars took their largest lead of the game with 3:21 left in the second half, when they led by 28.
BYU had four players in double figures, the second game in a row BYU has had four with 10 or more points.
BYU shot 47 percent, holding UCSB to 32 percent. The Cougars outrebounded 40-33.
The BYU bench outscored the Gaucho bench 27-12 and BYU scored 30 points in the paint to UCSB’s 18.
Morgan Bailey recorded a career-high 15 points. She also had six rebounds.
Hamson had 16 points to lead all scorers and eight rebounds.
Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn scored in double figures with 10 points.
Kim Parker Beeston was the fourth Cougar to reach double figures in scoring, collecting 10 points during the game.
Haley Steed dished out 11 assists. She also had five points and seven rebounds.