Haley Steed dished out a season-high 12 assists in the game vs. Creighton (Photo by BYU Photo/Mark Philbrick)
SALT LAKE CITY -- Overcoming an 18-point deficit, Creighton narrowly topped the BYU women’s basketball team 65-62 in the final seconds of overtime Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena.
After a 16-point BYU (3-4) lead entering the second half, Creighton (3-2) hit six 3-pointers to cut the Cougars’ advantage to five with 3:10 to play in regulation. A layup and three-point play tied the contest at 54 with just over two minutes to go. BYU’s Xojian Harry knocked in a jumper, but the Bluejays followed with a layup for a 56-56 tie. Neither team managed to score in the last 20 seconds to send the game into overtime.
The overtime period featured more back-and-forth scoring, with each team taking the lead at some point. Lexi Eaton was perfect from the charity stripe for a 61-59 BYU advantage with 2:05 remaining. After another tie game, Creighton’s Sarah Nelson sunk the game-winning 3-pointer with 19 seconds left. Eaton and the Bluejays exchanged a free throw to end the game, 65-62.
"We missed a lot of opportunities and things we needed to take care of," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins
said. "It hurt to not have an inside presence tonight. Having an inside presence is really important. We have got to learn from letting teams get back in the second half and beating us."
Eaton scored a team-high 18 points and team-high nine boards. Eaton has scored in double figures in every game this season. Keilani Unga joined Eaton in double-digits with 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Haley Steed added a game-high 12 assists and eight rebounds.
The Cougars got off to a quick start with Stephanie Seaborn nailing a shot beyond the arc to take an 11-4 BYU lead with 15:06 to play in the first half. BYU and Creighton exchanged multiple buckets before Kim Parker Beeston sunk back-to-back treys at the nine-minute mark to move the Cougars in front, 22-13.
Steed found Unga open downcourt for her first of two shots under the basket to extend BYU’s lead to 28-13 during an 11-0 run. The assist was Steed’s eighth of the game after only 11 minutes of play.
The Bluejays ended their scoring drought with 4:45 before the break with two layups to move the score to 32-17. Beating the shot clock with a corner 3-pointer, Kylie Maeda gave the Cougars an 18-point advantage, its largest of the game. Creighton managed a jump shot to enter halftime down 35-19.
Next on the docket for the Cougars are two in-state schools. BYU hosts Utah State Tuesday at 7 p.m. MST before traveling to Salt Lake City Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. MST to take on Utah.
BYU’s largest lead of the game came with 2:18 left in the first half when the Cougars led 35-17, helped out by an 11-0 BYU run. Creighton didn’t lead until overtime after tying the game up 56-56 with 20 seconds left.
BYU outrebounded Creighton 48-44. The Cougars also led in assists 19-12. The Creighton bench outscored BYU’s 32-12 and had 15 turnovers to the Cougars’ 22.
Lexi Eaton led the Cougars with 18 points, her seventh double-figure outing this season and 26th of her career. She shot 43 percent from the field and had nine rebounds.
Keilani Unga recorded 11 points, her second double-figure outing this season, and had eight rebounds.
Haley Steed had 12 assists to set a new season high and had six rebounds, also a season high. With one steal during the game, Steed tied Erin Thorn for No. 5 in BYU history for career steals with 236 total.
Xojian Harry tied her career high and set a new season high with three steals.