(Photo by BYU Photo)
SPOKANE, Wash. – BYU women’s basketball fell to Gonzaga 68-42 Thursday evening on the road at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
“We need to be more aggressive on offense and shoot more,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Having Jennifer in foul trouble for most of the game hurt us in our defensive presence, and when that happens we need others to step up. We need to learn from this and get back to the fundamentals.”
Sophomore Lexi Eaton was the only Cougar to score in double-digits, ending with 18 points to go with five boards. Ashley Garfield contributed a team-high eight rebounds while Kylie Maeda added three assists.
BYU (13-3, 3-2) finished the game hitting just 31 percent of its shots compared to 40 percent for the Bulldogs (13-3, 3-1). Gonzaga outrebounded the Cougars 43-32 and had more points in the paint, 36-18.
The Cougars put the first two points on the board from Jennifer Hamson and Kim Beeston free throws to give BYU’s its only lead of the game. Gonzaga countered with a 7-0 run to go up 7-2 at the first timeout.
Within the first two minutes of the game the leading scorer of each team (Hamson and Gonzaga’s Haiden Palmer) picked up a pair of fouls and were taken out of the game early on.
BYU trailed by as many as six points before Eaton hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three at 16-13 in the first half. The Bulldogs then took their largest lead of the half with 10 seconds to go on a three-point play, making the score 32-21 at halftime.
The Cougars struggled in the first half to score from the charity stripe, hitting just 7 of 12 compared to a perfect 8 of 8 for Gonzaga. Turnovers were an issue for both teams in the first 20 minutes, combining for 21 turnovers (13 for BYU and 8 for Gonzaga).
The two squads traded points after the break with each team going on a separate 4-0 run to make the score 36-25 with 16:23 left to play. The Bulldogs then went on an 18-4 run to take a 50-29 advantage.
Hamson fouled out of the game with 8:48 left after scoring five points and grabbing two boards.
The Cougars finished hitting just 9 of 30 in the second half with Gonzaga taking the game 68-42.
BYU stays on the road to play the Portland Pilots on Saturday at the Chiles Center. The game begins at 2 p.m. PST and will be broadcast on BYU Radio. Links to live stats can be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
Against Gonzaga, the Cougars finished the game with 42 points, their lowest point total of the season.
BYU is now 3-2 in WCC action.
Lexi Eaton picked up her 12th outing putting up double digits in points with 18. She also pulled down five rebounds and had one steal.
Junior Ashley Garfield came off the bench and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds. It marks the fourth time this season she’s led the team in that category. Garfield also picked up two steals for team highs.
Kylie Maeda led the team in assists with three.
For the first time on the season, senior center Jennifer Hamson fouled out of the game after playing just 13 minutes. In that time she recorded five points, two rebounds and two blocks.