(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—Continuing the momentum from its last game, the BYU women’s basketball team dominated the Wisconsin Badgers 77-59 at the Marriott Center, Wednesday night.
“We saw incredibly balanced scoring tonight and I thought that was the key,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “Jen gave us a really great inside presence tonight and we had a lot of other girls contributing. We did a lot better job in the second half on their bigs, challenging them and minimizing their points.”
Forward Dani Peterson paced BYU (3-2) with a career-high 15 points, but she was not the only Cougar to contribute to the win. Guard Lexi Eaton, center Jennifer Hamson and guard Stephanie Vermunt also scored in double figures, the first time this season that the Cougars have had four in double figures in a game. Guard Xojian Harry also had a career-high nine points.
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Wisconsin (1-4) started the game quickly, breaking the BYU press with ease and racing out to a 10-4 lead. From that point on it was all Cougars. Haley Steed turned it around with a nice skip pass to Kristen Riley at the block for two. On the following possession Steed pulled down a board, raced down the court for a layup, bringing the crowd to its feet. BYU continued to put on the pressure, stealing the ball in the backcourt and tying the game on an Eaton lay-up.
Steed continued the fire for the Cougars with consecutive steals leading to a lay-up and then dishing to Peterson for a three-pointer, pushing the Cougar lead to 19-15. The Cougars picked a third consecutive pocket with 13:12 on the clock, but turned it right back over to the Badgers.
With Parker in early foul trouble, Harry came in and made her presence felt.
She flew down the court for back-to-back layups, one on a nifty reverse between two defenders, pushing the lead to 25-17 and prompting a Wisconsin timeout.
Wisconsin cut into the BYU lead with a trey late in the half, but the Cougars answered right back with a three by Vermunt. Riley followed that up with a three of her own, pushing the halftime lead to 46-33.
The Cougars struggled out of the gate in the second half with two quick fouls as Parker picked up her fourth and Riley her second with 19:00 left in the second half. The Badgers started out on a 7-2 run, cutting the lead to 48-39. The Cougars countered right back using a 16-2 of their own, sealing the game.
Steed found Peterson who caught the ball over her shoulder and put it in for two, pushing the lead to 54-39, as the crowd erupted. The following play, the Cougars stole the ball from the Badgers and the crowd rose to its feet again as Steed passed it down court to Eaton who put it in for two.
The women are back in action Saturday at 2 p.m. when they face Eastern Washington at the Marriott Center.
BYU had 31 bench points and 24 points off turnovers, holding Wisconsin to only six points of turnovers.
BYU scored eight fast break points and didn’t allow any Wisconsin fast break points.
The Cougars shot 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc in the first half
For the first time this season, BYU had four players score in double figures.
BYU forced 19 Wisconsin turnovers and set a season-low 10 turnovers.
The Wisconsin game was the fourth time the Cougars had more assists than their opponents and the fourth-straight game recording more steals.
Wednesday’s game was also the third time this season BYU recorded more blocks than its opponent.
Freshman Xojian Harry recorded a career-high nine points.
Lexi Eaton totaled 14 points for her fourth double-figure outing this season. Shooting 4-4 from the free throw line, Wednesday’s game was Eaton’s third straight game shooting 100 percent from the charity stripe.
Kristen Riley put up a season high of nine points
Dani Peterson recorded her second double-figure outing of the season with 15 points to set a new career high. Peterson led the Cougars in scoring.
Jennifer Hamson also recorded a season high of 10 points and tied her season high of three blocks.
Haley Steed recorded a season-high seven assists.