(Photo by Mark A Philbrick/BYU Photo)
LAS VEGAS – Five Cougars scored in double figures as No. 2 seed BYU women’s basketball defeated No. 3 seed Pacific 77-64 to advance to the West Coast Conference Tournament championship game. BYU will face Gonzaga in the title game on Tuesday at 1 p.m. PDT on ESPNU.
“I’m really proud of these girls,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We started the game really well and then got into early foul trouble with two of our key players. Kim (Beeston) and Kylie (Maeda) then stepped up offensively for us. This team knows how to win.”
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BYU (26-5) hit 48 percent of its shots from beyond-the-arc as 11 3-pointers found their way through the hoop. Pacific (18-12) was held to just 37 percent shooting from the floor during the game.
Lexi Eaton scored a team-high 17 points to lead BYU while Kim Beeston (12), Kylie Maeda (12), Jennifer Hamson (11) and Stephanie Rovetti (10) also reached double-digit point totals. Hamson also led the team on the glass, getting eight boards.
Beeston rattled in a 3-pointer to start the game for BYU. Pacific’s Hailie Eackles followed with a 3-pointer of her own to tie the game at 3-3.
Maeda soon after hit a pair of 3-pointers followed by an Ashley Garfield layup to cap a 15-2 run that gave the Cougars an 18-5 advantage.
BYU took an 18-point lead at 29-11 after Rovetti drove to the basket and followed with a made free throw to complete the three-point play.
The Cougars were in early foul trouble with nine minutes left to play in the first half after Eaton and Hamson each picked up three early fouls and were forced to take a seat on the bench.
The Tigers closed out the first 20 minutes of action on a 10-1 run to cut BYU’s lead to 35-24 at the break.
Both teams traded buckets coming out of halftime until five-straight points from Pacific’s Kiki Moore cut the Cougar lead to single digits at 40-31.
Pacific’s Moore then singlehandedly went on an 8-2 run by driving to the basket to bring her team within six at 51-45.
That was followed with a 11-0 run for BYU, helped by two 3-pointers from Eaton, to bring the Cougars’ lead back to 17 at 62-45.
It was all BYU from that point as the Cougars cruised to a 77-64 win.
The Cougars continue play in the WCC Tournament championship game tomorrow at 1 p.m. PDT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. LInks to live stats can be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
For the first time this season, the Cougars finished the game with five players in double digit scoring. Lexi Eaton led the way with 17 points. Teammates Kylie Maeda and Kim Beeston recorded 12 points each. Jennifer Hamson tallied 11 points while pulling down a team-best eight rebounds. Stephanie Rovetti rounded out the double figure scoring with 10.
BYU dished out a total of 14 assists in the game, making it the 25th time this season the Cougars have recorded more assists than their opponent. Pacific finished the game with eight.
For the 27th time this year the Cougars had more blocks than their opponents. BYU had two while the Tigers didn’t have any.
BYU scored 22 points off of Pacific miscues.
The Cougars got 17 points from their bench. The Tigers had 12 points from their bench.
In second chance points, Pacific had the edge with 12 points compared with 11 from BYU.
Lexi Eaton picked up her 24th game this year tallying double digits in points with a team-best 17. She also pulled down three rebounds and dished out two assists.
Kylie Maeda led BYU with 11 points in the first half of action, nine were from 3-point range. She finished the game with 12 while also recording a team-best three steals. It’s the sixth time this year she has finished a game with 10-plus points.
Kim Beeston scored a total of 12 points for her 21st game this year with double figures in points. She also led the way in assists with a team-best three, while grabbing four rebounds.
Despite fouling out of the game with 3:00 minutes remaining, Jennifer Hamson picked up her 28th game scoring in double figures with 11 while pulling down a team-best eight rebounds.
Stephanie Rovetti came off the bench providing a big lift for the Cougars, tallying 10 points for her third game this season scoring in double figures. She also went 5 of 6 from the free throw line and pulled down four rebounds.
Morgan Bailey had a game-high two blocks along with eight points, five rebounds and two assists.