(Photo by BYU Photo/Bella Torgerson)
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—A steal by Keilani Unga ended a last-minute Bronco comeback attempt, helping the BYU women’s basketball team shut down Santa Clara 65-48 on the road Saturday afternoon.
BYU improves to 15-6 on the season and 6-2 in West Coast Conference play, good for second place in the league. Santa Clara falls to 12-10 and 4-5 in conference.
"Santa Clara is one of those teams that is in the top five in the league," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "It's hard to beat them here. We needed to win a road game with tough competition, and that's what we got tonight."
Haley Steed led all scorers with 17 points while also contributing six assists and four steals. Unga put up 13 points and led the team with seven rebounds.
Steed threw down two deep 3-pointers and a field goal during a 10-2 Cougar run to start the game. Steed hit a second jumper with 13:18 on the clock to bring her points total to 10 and BYU’s lead to 12-6.
A trey by Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn gave the Cougars their first 10-point lead of the game at 17-7 with 10:35 left in the first half. Free throws by Kim Parker Beeston kicked the lead up to 28-11, capping a 7-0 BYU scoring streak.
The Cougars headed into halftime with a 30-17 lead.
Another 7-0 run opened second-half scoring for the Cougars. Seaborn knocked down another trey with nine minutes to go, giving BYU its largest lead of the game at 51-29.
Santa Clara attempted a comeback late in the half with a 12-0 run started by a 3-pointer from Bronco Meagan Fulps. Ricki Radanovich hit another SCU trey, cutting BYU’s lead to only nine points with just under four minutes left.
A steal by Unga led to a jumper by Beeston, cutting off the Broncos’ advance with 1:49 to play. BYU ended the game with six free throw attempts.
Next up for the Cougars is a return to the Marriott Center to host San Diego on Thursday at 6 p.m. MST.
The Cougars took a 3-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Haley Steed two minutes into the game and never looked back in the first 20 minutes of action.
With the 30-17 advantage at halftime, BYU improved its record to 13-3 on the season when leading at the end of the first half.
In the first half, the Cougars shot 34 percent from the field and held the Broncos to 23 percent shooting from the field. BYU ended the league game shooting 37 from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line. Santa Clara shot 31 percent from the field and 62 percent from the charity stripe
The Cougars improved their record to 15-2 on the season when dishing out more assists than their opponents. For the game BYU had 15 to SCU’s 13.
Haley Steed led all scorers in the half with 12 points. She finished with a game-best 17, marking her ninth game and third-straight game scoring in double digits. Steed also recorded game highs in assists and in steals with six and four, respectively.
For the second-straight time and the fourth this season Keilani Unga recorded double figures in points with 13. She also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.