Cougars Net First Conference Win Against Falcons.

Melinda Johnsen had a career-high six steals in BYU's victory over Air Force. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah ( Jan.5, 2006) -- The Cougars (11-1, 1-0) set the stage for conference play in an intense battle with Air Force (9-3, 0-1) Thursday night, scoring 26 points on 23 Falcon turnovers on their way to a 64-43 victory and their first conference win of the year. With the win the Cougars move to 15-0 overall against Air Force.

"It was a nice win, and a good win for conference," Head Coach Jeff Judkins said. "Air Force played really hard and we did a good job defensively."

Melinda Johnsen came up big for BYU on the defensive side of the ball, finishing the game with a career-high six steals. As a team the Cougars had 15 steals against Air Force. Johnsen also netted four points in the win.

"I think our team thrives on defense," Johnsen said. "We get our energy from our defense."

The most impressive defense for the Cougars came with 4:29 remaining in the game when, in a 52-second span, BYU prevented the Falcons from crossing mid-court, stole the ball four times and scored six points to increase their lead to 60-38. Judkins said the key to the second half wasn't just pressuring the ball and stealing it away, but capitalizing quickly on Falcon miscues.

"We stole it, but we scored it," Judkins said. "It's about time we got some turnover baskets."

The Cougars needed the defensive spark in the second half to get them out of the back-and-forth battle from the first half. The two teams exchanged blows for the first 20 minutes, with BYU pulling ahead in the closing minutes to lead 27-24 at the break. Looking to get things going, BYU came out on fire to start the second period, going on a 16-3 run in which five Cougars scored points. Ambrosia Anderson started it all off with a three-pointer right out of the gates, the first trey of the game for BYU, to put the Cougars up 30-24. Anderson finished the game as the leading scorer on the night with 21 points. BYU dominated for the next five minutes and when Shawnee Slade scored her career-high eighth point of the game the Cougars found themselves on top 43-29 and on their way to a win.

This is the first time this season the Cougars have not had at least two players score in double figures, and with the 46-35 rebound margin in their favor BYU has now out-rebounded 10-of-12 opponents.

The Cougars now get set to head north to take on the University of Utah Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.

"It's going to be a great game. Both teams are really good," Judkins said.

The game will be broadcast live on CSTV.

Official Basketball Box Score

FALCONS vs BYU Cougars

01-05-06 7:00 PM at MARRIOTT CTR, BYU, PROVO, UT

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VISITORS: FALCONS 8-3; 0-1

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

32 STEELE, Alecia...... f 5-9 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 3 11 1 5 0 1 26

44 NOVAK, Jacki........ c 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 2 0 3 1 0 12

04 CASTILLO, Letricia.. g 1-9 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 0 1 26

24 TAYLOR, Andrea...... g 0-3 0-2 0-0 1 4 5 1 0 2 2 0 0 26

30 FINDLAY, Pamela..... g 3-12 2-7 0-0 1 3 4 1 8 2 2 0 2 37

22 DAVIS, Jamie........ 2-8 0-3 0-1 1 1 2 2 4 2 4 0 2 27

23 HIGGINBOTHAM, Dawn.. 3-4 0-0 1-2 0 3 3 4 7 0 2 0 0 15

34 CULTRA, Brooke...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3

42 JAESCHKE,Ellen...... 4-7 0-0 1-2 5 4 9 2 9 2 4 2 1 28

TEAM................ 1 2 3

Totals.............. 19-55 2-15 3-7 11 24 35 15 43 12 23 3 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-31 35.5% 2nd Half: 8-24 33.3% Game: 34.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-9 11.1% 2nd Half: 1-6 16.7% Game: 13.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 1-3 33.3% 2nd Half: 2-4 50.0% Game: 42.9% 2

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 11-1; 1-0

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

33 ANDERSON, Ambrosia.. f 8-16 1-2 4-5 2 2 4 0 21 1 3 0 1 30

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... f 2-7 0-2 0-1 0 4 4 1 4 3 1 0 6 33

45 KUBIK, Dani......... c 3-9 0-1 1-2 3 3 6 5 7 0 2 2 1 21

15 KEELE, Jennie....... g 1-5 0-0 0-0 1 5 6 2 2 2 2 1 1 21

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 1-11 0-5 4-4 1 4 5 1 6 3 2 0 0 30

01 SELJAAS, Nancy...... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 11

04 JUDKINS, Jenna...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

10 STRATTON, Laura..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 4

23 BROWN, Brit......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

24 HUTSON, Vanessa..... 2-2 1-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 7 2 0 0 1 15

32 SLADE, Shawnee...... 4-7 0-1 0-0 3 0 3 2 8 1 1 0 2 13

41 FADDIS, Brittany.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

52 RILEY, Lauren....... 2-7 0-0 1-2 4 5 9 3 5 0 3 1 2 17

54 KING, Cassie........ 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 2

TEAM................ 4 3 7

Totals.............. 25-66 2-12 12-16 19 27 46 16 64 12 16 4 15 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-34 35.3% 2nd Half: 13-32 40.6% Game: 37.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-5 0.0% 2nd Half: 2-7 28.6% Game: 16.7% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-5 60.0% 2nd Half: 9-11 81.8% Game: 75.0% 2

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Officials: CARLA FUJIMOTO, THOMAS DUBAS, ERNEST SOLIS

Technical fouls: FALCONS-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 679

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

FALCONS....................... 24 19 - 43

BYU Cougars................... 27 37 - 64

OFFICIAL FINAL

Tags: Results