Cougars Hold On Against Wildcats in Women's Hoops

Senior center Kristen Riley picked up her first double double of the 2011-12 campaign with 15 points and 12 rebounds in the win over Arizona. (Photo by Duff Tittle)

LAIE, Hawaii—Senior Kristen Riley and sophomore Kim Parker led the BYU women’s basketball team to a 82-73 victory against Arizona Thursday in the second matchup of the Hukilau Invitational.

The Cougars (6-2) look to continue their undefeated history in the Hukilau Invitational Saturday as they take on Syracuse.

“Arizona is a very, very good team,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “They’re very athletic and I think they have a pro on that team in Davellyn Whyte. In the last four minutes she brought them back into the game. I think Kim Parker had the game of her life. Her experience helped with all that pressure. Our bigs were very physical tonight and I think our bench came in and gave us a good lift.”

With the win, Judkins is now 12-7 against Pac-12 teams.

Parker led the game with a career-high 25 points and Riley backed her up with 15 points. Riley picked up her first double-double of the season, the fifth of her career, with 12 rebounds. She and Parker also dished out six assists to lead the Cougars. Jennifer Hamson reached double figures with 12 points, her third of the season, and Haley Steed was the fourth Cougar in double figures with 10.

Parker and Riley stayed hot from behind the arc throughout the game, with Parker totaling a career-high four 3-pointers and Riley setting a new career high with three.

BYU shot 48 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from the three point line, tallying 11 threes. The team had 27 assists, a season high, and held strong on defense, forcing 21 turnovers and raking in 9 steals.

“It was a great team win,” Parker said. “Everyone stepped up. Against Syracuse, I think we need to execute and play great team ball like tonight.  This game was huge for us, a confidence builder and team builder. If we work on those two things, I think we’ll be successful Saturday.”

Arizona (5-1) took the lead on a three-pointer to start the game. Dani Peterson kicked the Cougars into gear with two jumpers for BYU’s first four points. Parker tied the game at 7-7 with the team’s first three-pointer and kept the score tied on another jump shot with 14 minutes left on the clock.

Hamson grabbed a 10-9 lead for the Cougars on free throws and a Steed trey put the Cougars ahead 13-9. Freshman Lexi Eaton’s layup gave BYU a 19-13 lead, the largest lead thus far. The Cougars and Wildcats exchanged quick baskets before a 7-0 Arizona run, including buckets from Erica Barnes and Layana White, cut the deficit to 25-24.

Riley pushed BYU ahead on back-to-back three-pointers as they sped toward halftime, draining her second three-pointer to keep the seven-point BYU lead.

In the final minute of the first half, free throws put Arizona within two points of BYU, but yet another Cougar three-pointer, this time from Peterson, gave BYU a 38-33 going into the locker room.

Thirty seconds after a Parker three in the early minutes of second half action, Riley hit her third three-pointer of the game to take the score to 44-37 before a quick layup in transition by Wildcat Barnes pushed Arizona within three points.

Candice Warthen forced a turnover on Steed and drew the foul as she went in for the layup, resulting in two foul shots to again bring the Wildcats within one at 46-45 at 15:50. Steed took the lead back to six points on her second three of the game for a score of 51-45.

BYU kept the lead despite a few close calls, with Stephanie Vermunt securing the largest lead of the game, 66-56, on a three-point bucket. After passing the four-minute mark, Parker launched another three-pointer for a 12-point lead

Warthen’s bucket from beyond the arc made it a one-possession game with 40 seconds left before Parker pushed the lead to five on two made free throws. Two more Wildcat fouls brought the score to 82-73 to end the game.

Arizona’s loss was its first of the season. Whyte had 19 points to lead the Wildcats after posting only 2 points in the first half.

BYU plays an undefeated Syracuse at 1 p.m. HST Saturday its final matchup of the Hukilau Invitational.

“Hopefully we’ll get some rest, take care of business tomorrow and hopefully get a win Saturday,” Judkins said. “We’ll have our hands full with Syracuse.”

Postgame Notes
Team

With the 82-73 victory over Arizona, the Cougars remain undefeated in the four years they’ve competed in the Hukilau Invitational. BYU improved its overall record to 6-2 on the year and enters the final game of the 2011 Hukilau Invitational on Saturday against Syracuse on a five-game win streak.

The Cougars dished out a total of 27 assists for season highs in that category. It marks the seventh time this year that BYU has recorded more assists than its opponents. Arizona ended the game with 14.

With the win over the Wildcats, BYU head coach Jeff Judkins improved his record against Pac-12 schools to 12-7.

In the game, the Cougars finished shooting (.425, 11-15) from three point range for the best percentage from behind the arc this year. The 11 made treys are the most to date.

For the second time this year, BYU had four players score in double figures. Parker (25), Riley (15), Hamson (12), Steed (10).

BYU improved its record to 5-0 when leading at the half and 4-1 when making at least five three pointers in a game.

Against Arizona the Cougars got 33 points off of Wildcat miscues, and tallied 19 second change points. The BYU bench scored 21 points compared to seven for Arizona.

Player
Kim Parker recorded season and career highs in points with 25.  The team and game highs marked her third straight double digit outing, the fifth on the year and 10th overall. She also grabbed four rebounds and dished out six assists.

Kristen Riley recorded her first double double of the year and fifth of her career with 15 points and 12 rebounds. In the game, she also put up three treys for season and career highs. The points are the most so far this year.

Jennifer Hamson tallied 12 points for her third double digit outing of the year and the 12th of her career.

Haley Steed finished the game with 10 points for her fourth double figure game of the season and her 32nd overall.

Parker, Steed and Riley all finished with six assists each. For Parker and Riley the assists are season highs . They tied for career bests for Parker and are career highs for Riley.

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BYU vs. Arizona Box Score31.67 KB