Cougars Take Down Mavericks in Exhibition

Haley Hall and Stephanie Vermunt put up 16 points each for the Cougars in Tuesday's exhibition win. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Getting off to a rapid 11-0 start in the opening minutes, the BYU women’s basketball team cruised its way to a 96-41 victory against Mesa State in its final exhibition game of the season, Tuesday.

“I thought we played really well,” head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We did a good job of moving the ball around and getting everyone a chance to play hard."

Haley Hall and redshirt freshman Stephanie Vermunt led the game with 16 points each, followed closely by Mindy Bonham's 15. Hall also had nine assists. Jennifer Hamson led on the boards with 11 rebounds and eight points.

The Cougars shot 59.1 percent from the field and 65 percent from the 3-point line, holding the Mavericks to just 20 percent shooting and only 10 percent for 3-pointers.

“It’s fun to play against someone besides ourselves,” Hall said. “Exhibition games are good because you can get the jitters out and really get into game speed.”

Cougar defense kept Mesa State from scoring until 15:40 in the first half when Katie Brady put up two free throws to get the Mavericks on the board.

An assist from Bonham gave Hall an open 3-point shot in the 13th minute to put the Cougars up 17-2.

Vermunt came off the bench with less than 10 minutes to go in the first half, but ended up still putting 13 points on the board for BYU in the first half. Hall also put up 13 points in the first half and both had three 3-pointers.

The Maverick’s only field goal of the half came from Brady with 2:30 to play until halftime.

An 8-0 scoring streak near the end of the half put BYU ahead 44-11. Free throws from Mesa State brought the score to 44-14.

Hall ended the half with a jump shot from the key with one second left on the clock, sinking the shot for a 46-14 Cougar lead.

Coming back in the second half, Alexis Kaufusi wasted no time getting more points on the board for BYU with a jumper after 13 seconds of play.

With 15:45 to play in the game, Bonham put up back-to-back 3- and 2-point shots to give the Cougars a 62-16 lead.

Brady made the second field goal of the night for Mesa State at 16:40. The Cougars responded with eight unanswered points.

Riley showed up in the 12th minute for her own 7-point streak, including three free throws.

Mesa State had its longest scoring run late in the second half, with a jumper, a layup and two free throws to cut the Cougars’ lead to 88-34.

Hamson sank a jumpshot with 10 seconds left to reach the 96-41 final score.

Next up for the Cougars is a trip to Durham, N.C., to play Duke on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

“We’re excited to play Duke,” Judkins said. “It will be a good challenge for us and an opportunity to have the girls play at a higher level.”

Post-game Notes

-Last week's exhibition was won by a margin of 27. At halftime in today’s game, the Cougars had already exceeded that margin with a 32-point lead.

-With tonight’s 55-point marginal victory, the Cougars have now had two consecutive seasons with exhibition wins of over 50 points

-The Cougars had three players in double figures with Stephanie Vermunt’s and Haley Hall’s 16 points leading the way

-True freshman and redshirt freshman Stephanie Rovetti, Kim Parker, Jennifer Hamson, Stephanie Vermunt and Morgan Bailey combined for 30 of the team’s 96 total points in tonight’s victory

-From behind the arch, the Cougars shot 65 percent in a 13-for-20 performance

-Senior Mindy Bonham recorded back-to-back double digit points against Fort Lewis and tonight over Mesa State

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