(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
BYU women’s basketball (9-4) prepares to compete for a first ever West Coast Conference regular season title as the 2013 WCC campaign begins this week. The Cougars finished their nonconference schedule riding a six-game win streak. They open up WCC play hosting the University of San Francisco this Saturday at 2 p.m., in a game that can be seen live on BYUtv. BYU was selected to finish first in conference play as voted by the league’s coaches. Last year the Cougars finished second with a 12-4 record, winning their first WCC championship and representing the league as the automatic qualifier in the NCAA tournament.
BYU has outrebounded its opponents in eight of the games played, including the last six. In all but two contests (at Boston College and at Washington State) the Cougars dished out more assists than their opponents. BYU has enjoyed a halftime lead in all but two games to date (vs. Seattle and at Washington State). Entering WCC action, the BYU bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 250 to 162. When comparing points in the paint, the Cougars have scored 362 points to 300 from opponents.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78), enters his 12th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 13.5 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Hamson, 8.8 rpg
• Team’s assist leader: #33 Haley Steed, 7.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #33 Steed, 2.2 spg
BYU’S PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
#33 Haley Steed – (5-4 guard, GS.) 9.3 ppg; 4.2 rpg; 7.5 apg
#4 Kim Parker Beeston – (5-11 guard, Jr.) 10.0 ppg; 4.2 rpg; 2.0 apg
#11 Xojian Harry – (5-10 guard, So.) 3.9 ppg; 1.3 rpg; 0.5 apg
#45 Keilani Unga – (6-2 forward, Sr.) 5.9 ppg; 4.4 rpg; 0.8 apg
#5 Jennifer Hamson – (6-7 center, Jr.) 13.6 ppg; 8.8 rpg; 0.8 apg
San Francisco Capsule
San Francisco enters the first week of WCC action with a 7-6 record. They host Saint Mary’s on Thursday before making the trip to Provo for Saturday’s game. The Dons have lost their last two games to Fresno State and to Pacific. During the year they’ve picked up wins over the University of Hawai’i, UC Davis, Boise State, UTSA, San Jose State and Cal Poly. When playing on the road, USF is 2-4 to date.
• Head coach: Jennifer Azzi is in her second year with USF
• Team’s leading scorer: #45 Mel Khlok, 16.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #32 Taylor Proctor, 7.0 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #45 Khlok, 3.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #45 Khlok, 2.6 spg
BYU leads the series 7-1
BYU and USF played twice during the 2012 WCC race with each team winning on the road.
The Cougars beat the Dons 76-67 in San Francisco on Jan. 7, 2012 with three players scoring in double figures. Kristen Riley led the way with 19 followed by 13 from Haley Steed and 11 from Lexi Eaton. Steed shot 5-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from behind the arc. BYU outrebounded the Dons 41 to 33.
In the second meeting it was USF who came into the Marriott Center on Feb. 16 to defeat the Cougars 71-64. It was the first and only conference loss at home for BYU last year. At the time of the matchup, the Cougars were ranked No. 23 nationally. It was the Dons first win over a ranked opponent since 1996. For BYU, Riley recorded her eighth season double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Steed had 15 points and Eaton contributed 12.
The Dons shot 37.9 percent from the field to best the Cougars, who shot 31.6 percent. San Francisco also won from behind the arc, shooting 18.1 from 3-point while holding BYU to 10 percent. Despite falling behind in shooting, BYU outrebounded USF, 51-39.
The Cougars take their first WCC road trip of the year taking on San Diego on Thurs.,Jan. 10 at 7 p.m., PST before returningto the Marriott Center on Sat., Jan. 12 for a home game vs. league foe Pepperdine. That game tips off at 2 p.m.MST.
Follow BYU Basketball
Texting Group: text "wbb" to 53535