(Photo by Bella Torgenson/BYU Photo)
PORTLAND—In the last game of the regular season, four Cougars scored in double figures for the BYU women’s basketball team in a 73-63 rout of Portland Saturday on the road.
“I thought Kim (Beeston) and Steph (Seaborn) came out in the first half and looked for their shots and they hit them,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “The first half we did well, then defensively made some mistakes. But I like seeing four players in double figures.”
Kim Parker Beeston led the Cougars (20-10, 11-5 West Coast Conference) with 17 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and from beyond the arc. She also had seven rebounds and five 3-pointers. Jennifer Hamson scored 14 points with nine rebounds, while Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn and Keilani Unga had 12 points apiece. Unga also had eight rebounds, second most on the team.
Haley Steed controlled the offense with eight assists, also contributing eight points and seven rebounds.
BYU shot 40.7 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point land, holding Portland (10-20, 5-12 WCC) to 37.1 percent from the field and 30 percent beyond the arc. The Cougars won the rebound battle, 44-29.
Seaborn and Beeston came out on fire with two 3-pointers apiece in the opening four minutes of play to give BYU a 14-4 lead. A 7-0 Cougar run gave BYU a 21-9 advantage.
A 10-2 Portland run cut the lead to 25-19. Xojian Harry ended the run with a free throw.
With less than two minutes until halftime, Pilot Cassandra Thompson laid the ball in to make it a one-possession game at 34-31 with BYU still in the lead. The Cougars missed a jumper in the final seconds in an attempt to respond to a Portland jumper. The game went to halftime with BYU ahead by only one point, 34-33.
A Pilot jumper from beyond the arc gave the lead to Portland in the first minute of the second half. Two more Portland buckets pushed the Pilots ahead 40-36.
Playing behind for most of the first six minutes of the second half, BYU stole back the lead on a Steed 3-pointer. Unga followed it with a layup to regain a 46-43 Cougar lead.
A Beeston 3-pointer and four-straight free throws by Hamson contributed to a 9-0 scoring streak, capped off by a Hamson layup.
With BYU ahead 66-53, Portland launched a 10-0 run, cutting the lead to 66-63 with 1:30 left to play. With 1:08 on the clock, Steed took control with a long trey. The Cougars prevented two Portland 3-point attempts and collected four more points on free throws to end the game.
Next up, the Cougars head to Las Vegas for the WCC Championships. BYU will play Friday at noon at the Orleans Arena in the quarterfinals on BYUtv. BYU’s opponent will be determined by the first second-round matchup Thursday.
For the fifth time this year, the Cougars had four players score in double figures--Beeston (17), Hamson (14), Seaborn (12), Unga (12)
The Cougars outrebounded the Pilots 44-29 marking the 19th time on the year that they have pulled down more boards than their opponents.
BYU dished out 18 assists to Portland’s 16.
The Cougars were perfect from the free throw line in the second half and finished the game shooting 86 percent from the charity stripe.
Stephanie Seaborn recorded 12 points for back-to-back games scoring in double figures. It’s the seventh time on the year that she has scored in double figures.
Kim Beeston finished the game with a game-high 17 total points marking the 17th time on the year she has put up double digits in points.
For the 13th time on the year Jennifer Hamson put up double-digit points with 14. Hamson also pulled down nine rebounds for game highs.
Keilani Unga had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Haley Steed had a game-best eight assists along with eight points and seven rebounds.