Stephanie Vermunt shot 80 percent from 3-point range for 14 points in the Cougars' victory against Seattle. (Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
SEATTLE—The No. 23 BYU women’s basketball team pulled off its first win in a three-game road series Wednesday night, taking out Seattle University in a 69-55 non-conference contest at the Connolly Center.
The victory pushed the Cougars’ win streak to eight games.
“You know, we haven’t played a team like this all year, a team that really trapped and played the zone,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “It was kind of like a street ball game. I thought a lot of players did well tonight, but we need to continue getting better defensively, especially off the dribble.”
Senior Kristen Riley came in with another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds on the night. Stephanie Vermunt’s 80 percent shooting from beyond the arc earned her 14 points and Kim Parker had 15 with four assists. Jennifer Hamson set a new season high of six blocks while contributing seven rebounds and nine points. Haley Steed, who ranks in the top 10 in NCAA women’s basketball for assists per game and leads the West Coast Conference, dished out five assists to lead BYU (19-3, 7-1).
BYU shot 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from the 3-point line while holding Seattle to shooting just 28.6 from the field and 21.7 from behind the arc.
A long Steed 3-pointer opened the game for BYU, but the Redhawks (12-9) kept the game close. Vermunt and Parker contributed their own buckets from 3-point land, with Vermunt knocking down back-to-back treys as part of a 9-0 run to give the Cougars a 19-10 lead.
Riley took BYU to a double-figure lead on a jumper and Vermunt’s third 3 of the night took the score to 33-20 as the half wound down. Hamson finished off the half with a layup and a free throw.
Vermunt led BYU in points for the half with nine, shooting 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, and Hamson and Riley tied on the boards with four apiece. Hamson also picked up three blocks in the first half.
Riley hit double-digit points first on a 19:06 jumper. Parker followed her into double-figures with a 3-pointer a minute later. BYU kept Seattle scoreless for two and a half minutes to start the second half.
A 21-point lead reached by Stephanie Rovetti’s fastbreak layup secured the game for BYU and the team didn’t let up through the end of the game, ending with a 14-point victory.
The No. 23 Cougars return to conference play for their second matchup of the road trip, taking on Santa Clara in California for the teams’ first meeting as WCC opponents. The teams tip off Saturday at 2 p.m. PST.
For just the fourth time on the year, the Cougars were outrebounded. Seattle grabbed 39 to BYU’s 38.
BYU improved to 17-0 when leading at the break. Against the Redhawks they enjoyed a 14-point, 36-22 advantage heading in to the locker room.
The Cougars made eight 3-pointers, improving their record to 15-2 when making at least five treys in a game.
BYU’s bench had a strong showing in the game, collecting 31 points. Seattle did not get any points from its bench.
Kristen Riley recorded her fourth double-double of the season and the eighth overall with a team-best 16 points and 10 rebounds. The points mark her ninth season and 36th career game that she’s scored in double digits.
Stephanie Vermunt went 3-of-4 in the first half from 3-point range to lead the Cougars with nine points at the end of the first half. She finished the game with 14 points going 4-of-5 from 3-point range for her fifth double-figure game this year and the eighth overall. The points tied her season bests.
Kim Parker put up 15 points against Seattle University recording her 14th season and 19th overall double figure game.
Jennifer Hamson had game highs in blocks with six for season bests in that category to go along with her nine points and seven rebounds.
Senior co-captain Haley Steed dished out a game-high five assists.