Freshman Lexi Eaton led the Cougars with 14 points in BYU's 90-61 win over Western Oregon Thursday night at the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Led by three Cougars in double figures, the BYU women’s basketball team defeated Western Oregon 90-61 in an exhibition game Thursday night at the Marriott Center.
“We came out in the second half and executed a lot better,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We did what we’ve been practicing the last couples of weeks. We let it come to us better. “
Freshman guard Lexi Eaton, who prepped at Springville High School, led all Cougar scorers with 14 points and two assists. Veterans senior Haley Hall Steed and sophomore Kim Parker each contributed 11 in the win. Steed and Parker dished out six and five assists, respectively.
In her first appearance since Feb. 2, 2010 against Wyoming after her battle with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, junior forward Alexis Kaufusi knocked down nine points.
Cougar fans had the opportunity to see the play of two redshirt freshmen in Stephanie Rovetti and Timpanogos High School product Morgan Bailey, who contributed six and nine points, respectively. “I do have some really talented freshmen and I think they’re going to do good,” Judkins said.
Five Utah standouts join the BYU program in the 2011-12 campaign, all of which displayed their talent in the Marriot Center Thursday.
“It was nice to get everyone in the game,” Judkins said. “We didn’t play our best tonight, but we played good enough to win. Defensively it was hard because they didn’t have any bigs to post up. Our two bigs had a hard time adjusting to that because they aren’t use to it. That’s why we play these games, to get use to different things.“
BYU kicked off play with back-to-back baskets by senior forward Dani Peterson and Eaton to take an early 4-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Western Oregon answered with five straight points of its own, taking a 5-4 lead.
After exchanging back-and-forth baskets, the Cougars put up three baskets to take secure a 20-15 lead. Freshman guard Stephanie Rovetti’s basket would be the last for over two minutes of play until Western Oregon’s Elise Miller drained a three pointer to bring the margin to two.
Eaton fueled a 12-4 run for the Cougars, capped off by a last second basket by Parker to stretch BYU’s lead to 11, the biggest lead of the half. BYU entered halftime up 40-29.
BYU took off after halftime, going on a 14-5 run kicked off by a Parker basket.
Western Oregon brought the score within eight in the initial minutes of the second half but was unable to close the gap on the Cougars.
A free throw by Peterson led way to a 13-0 run to give BYU a 31-point advantage with 10:21 remaining. Junior forward Alexis Kaufusi contributed seven points to the run.
The Cougars next gear up for their final exhibition game against Dixie State on Fri., Nov. 4 with a 4 p.m. tip off. The game is slated to air live on BYUtv.
The 2011-12 season officially gets under way on Fri., Nov. 11 when the Cougars host ACC powerhouse Duke in a 7 p.m. tip off.
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