Cougars advance to WCC semis with 69-57 win

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LAS VEGAS – The BYU women’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the 2013 West Coast Conference tournament after making 13 3-pointers to defeat LMU 69-57 in Las Vegas on Friday.

“Well, I’m glad this game is over,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “Loyola is a really good team, a team that has come on at the end of the year. They played a tough defense on us tonight, and we knew it was coming, but it’s still hard to get done what you need to. We definitely took a lot of 3s tonight, but that’s what they gave us. One thing I try to teach my teams is to take what you get, and I’m happy we made so many of the 3s we took.”

BYU’s 13 3-pointers in a single game ties for ninth all-time at BYU and also ties a season best. Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn led all players with 21 points, finishing with seven 3-pointers for a new career high in points and made 3-pointers.

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“Coach emphasized we were going to get shots today, so I just wanted to be ready to shoot,” Seaborn said. “The beauty of this team is that none of us are selfish or care who gets the shots, so I was just lucky to be the one today.”

Also in double figures were teammates Jennifer Hamson and Kim Parker Beeston with 19 and 13, respectively. Hamson also contributed 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double this season.

The Cougars and Lions traded scoring runs to start the game with BYU going on a 5-0 stint before LMU answered with 10-straight of its own. Cougar Xojian Harry ended the run with a 3-pointer, cutting LMU’s lead to 10-8 with 13:53 to play.

The teams traded points for the next few possessions until BYU again took control after a Hamson layup sparked a 15-2 run to put them up 29-19 with 4:41 to play. The run was highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Kim Beeston and Seaborn.

The Lions finished the first-half scoring with a 3-pointer, their only one of the half.

Heading into the locker room, BYU led 35-26 and had made six 3-pointers while holding the Lions to 1-for-6 shooting from behind the arc. Seaborn accounted for four of the team’s 3-pointers to tie her career high.

Beeston kicked off second-half scoring for BYU with a 3-pointer while the Lions tried to keep pace. The Cougars held a 43-34 lead with 15:30 to play.

With 8:02 to play, the teams decided to give a 3-point shooting clinic. BYU’s Beeston hit a three to give the Cougars a 59-41 lead. The Lions responded with one of their own before Beeston hit another. LMU hit another just one minute later to cut BYU’s lead to 15 with 4:55 to play.

The Lions went on a 10-0 run to end the game, cutting BYU’s lead from 22 points to 12 for the 69-57 final score.

BYU advances to play 1-seed Gonzaga in the WCC semifinals on Saturday at noon PST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv.

Postgame Notes

Team

Kim Beeston retook the lead for BYU on a 3-pointer, part of a 15-2 Cougar run in the first half. BYU held the lead the rest of the game.

BYU’s largest lead of the game came with 1:49 left in the second half, when the Cougars led by 22.

Friday’s game was BYU’s 13th time with three players in double figures this season.

BYU had 36 rebounds to LMU’s 43, but won on the assist battle 16-11. BYU shot 41.7 percent compared to LMU’s 32.8 percent. BYU also shot 46.4 percent from 3-point land while LMU shot 36.8 percent.

BYU is 18-5 when leading at the half, 18-6 when making at least five 3-pointers and 22-3 when making more assists.

The Cougars tied their season high of 13 3-pointers in a game.

Player

Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn set a new career high for 3-pointers in a game with seven. She tied her previous career high of four 3-pointers before halftime. Seaborn finished with a career-high 21 points, her eighth double-figure outing this season and 17th of her career.

Jennifer Hamson also finished in double figures with 19 points, her 14th double-digit performance of the season and 38th of her career, and also had 13 boards for her fourth double-double this season. This was also Hamson’s second consecutive game scoring in double figures.

Kim Parker Beeston was the third Cougar to reach double figures, tallying 13 points. She also had eight rebounds. It was her 18th game this season with 10 or more points and 39th of her career.

Haley Steed led the Cougars with five assists.

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