(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—In the BYU women’s basketball team’s biggest win of the season so far, the Cougars topped Western New Mexico 72-31 Saturday at the Marriott Center.
“This was a good game for the players who usually don’t get a lot of playing time,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I’m glad our walk-ons got some playing time. They work hard every day and deserved it. Our bench really gave us a good lift.”
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Morgan Bailey led the Cougars (9-4) for the first time this season with 15 points, helped out by Kim Parker Beeston’s 14 and Jennifer Hamson’s 13. Bailey shot 70 percent from the field.
Hamson led on the boards with nine and Haley Steed led with nine assists and two steals.
“Kim played a really good game,” Judkins said. “She started off really strong. Kylie and Morgan also had a good game. And you can’t stop Jennifer, so what else is there to say?”
BYU shot 47.5 percent from the field and held Western New Mexico to 23.4 percent.
Beeston started the game off with back-to-back treys, part of a 16-0 run that also included a third 3-pointer by Beeston. Western New Mexico (1-10) didn’t put points on the board until Jelesia Gray made a free throw with 13:18 left in the half.
Kylie Brown’s 3-pointer, the second of her career, put BYU ahead 24-1. The Mustangs didn’t make a basket until 9:33 left in the half, when Morgan Wholtman drained a 3-pointer.
The last 10 minutes of the half proved a 3-pointer battle, with Western New Mexico picking up three more treys and BYU picking up two.
With 2:32 left in the half, Hamson blocked Heather Hamilton for her 139th career block, passing Lori Vreeken to become No. 3 on BYU’s all-time blocks list.
The Cougars finished off the half ahead 45-15, their highest first-half score of the season and largest halftime lead of the year. BYU shot 53.1 percent from the field in the first half and held the Mustangs to 20.8 percent. The Cougars shot 63.6 percent from beyond the arc and Western New Mexico shot 50 percent in the first half.
Beeston led BYU going into halftime with 14 points, shooting 5-for-8 including four 3-pointers.
BYU launched the second half on a 6-0 run. After a Mustang layup, the Cougars went on another 7-0 run fueled by back-to-back layups from Keilani Unga. The run put BYU ahead by 44 points, the Cougars’ biggest lead of the game.
Bailey drained a 3-pointer with 2:35 left to play to put the Cougars ahead 70-29 and followed it up with a jumper for a final score of 72-31.
The Cougars open West Coast Conference play Jan. 5 hosting San Francisco at the Marriott Center at 2 p.m. MST.
In the first half, BYU’s bench tallied 20 of the 45 total points. For the game, BYU got 38 points from its bench. Western New Mexico had two.
The Cougars held Western New Mexico to just 15 points in the first half, the lowest points scored by a BYU opponent this season.
BYU had a 45-15 advantage at the break improving its record to 8-3 when leading at the half.
The Cougars outrebounded the Mustangs 49-21, improving their record to 7-2 when grabbing more boards than their opponents.
BYU finished non-conference play undefeated at home with a 9-4 overall record. The Cougars are on a 6-0 win streak.
Morgan Bailey recorded a team-high 15 points, tallying her seventh game scoring double figures in points. It’s the first time she’s had team highs in points this season.
Kim Beeston finished the game with 14 points, marking her third straight and eighth double-digit outing in points of the year.
With 2:32 left on the clock in the first half, Jennifer Hamson tallied her second block of the game putting her in third place all-time in career blocks with 139. Hamson scored 13 points for her fifth double-digit outing in points this year and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
For the 13th time this year Haley Steed dished out a game high in assists. Against the Mustangs she had nine.