Junior Mindy Bonham led the Cougars with 13 points in the winning effort. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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PROVO -- In a battle of two teams fighting to keep their seasons alive, the BYU women’s basketball team defeated Pepperdine 62-58 in the Marriott Center.
The win improves their record to 21-9 and they will advance to the second round of the WNIT where they will take on Arizona State in Tempe on Tuesday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. PT.
"I'm happy about tonight," said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. "This was a great win. In the last four minutes we held them to just two points and I think that was the key of the game. I'm glad the girls were able to keep with it and knock down the points when they had to."
BYU was led by Mindy Bonham with 13 points, followed closely by Haley Hall with 11 and Kristen Riley with nine. Coriann Wood also contributed eight points and led the Cougars with seven rebounds. Jazmine Foreman paced BYU with six assists.
Despite Pepperdine scoring the game’s first points, the Cougars soon took a lead thanks to sharp shooting by Bonham who began the game shooting four-for-four in the first eight minutes of the game and scoring eight of BYU’s first 18 points.
After a media timeout with approximately twelve minutes left in the first half, the Cougar bench began to make an impact on the court with senior Jaime Judkins hitting a trey and Alexis Kaufusi converting on the inside.
Although the Waves made several impressive plays in the half, including hitting a three-pointer with one second remaining on the shot clock, BYU was able to head to the locker room with a six-point lead, 36-30, at the half. The Cougars are now 19-2 when they lead at the half
The Waves would take their first lead since the opening minute of the game at 41-40 with fifteen minutes remaining. However, Pepperdine found its lead to be short lived after the Cougars went on a 9-0 run led by guard duo of Foreman and Hall.
The game was not decided until the final minutes as the Cougars were able to hold the lead, secured off a trey by Bonham with 2:20 left to play. With strong defensive play, the waves were forced to foul BYU and send them to the charity stripe where they would seal the win.
BYU will continue its run in the WNIT as they face Arizona State on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. PT in Tempe, Arizona.