(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Behind a career night from sophomore Lexi Eaton and a strong second half from senior Jennifer Hamson, BYU beat Washington State 80-73, Tuesday.
“That was a very good team we played tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “They change their defenses a lot from a matchup zone to a zone to man-to-man and it’s hard to get a rhythm.”
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Eaton had career-highs with 27 points and nine rebounds. Hamson added 20 points, with 18 coming in the second half, and eight rebounds. Kim Beeston added season-highs of 21 points and seven assists. Her four three-pointers put her into sixth in career threes, ahead of Thais Kidd.
“I thought tonight Lexi played a really nice game for us,” Judkins said. “She was aggressive offensively and really helped us in the first half when we had a hard time getting the ball inside to Jen and Morgan (Bailey).”
BYU shot 44.3 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from behind the arc. The blue Cougars had 23 assists on 27 baskets. The defense held Washington State to 16.7 percent from behind the arc.
With BYU leading 62-51, Washington State went on a 12-1 run to tie the game at 63. BYU answered with an 8-2 run to give the Cougars a 71-65 lead. It was all the cushion they would need to take the game.
After falling behind 4-3 BYU started a 9-2 run, led by six points from Eaton, to take the 12-6 lead. Washington State answered with a 16-4 run to grab a six-point lead of their own. Eaton once again led the blue Cougars on a 10-0 run with two 3-pointers to take the lead 28-24. BYU and Washington State battled to the end of the half and the blue Cougars held on to lead 37-32.
Eaton led BYU with 16 points and five rebounds while Kim Beeston added 10 points and three assists. The blue Cougars shot 43.8 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the three-point line while holding Washington State to 37.1 percent shooting from the floor and 22.2 percent from three.
Eaton continued her hot shooting in the second half, opening with nine of BYU’s first 16 points to lead the blue Cougars to their first double-digit lead of the game at 53-42.
BYU returns to action Saturday against Arizona at 2 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv.
BYU outshot the Washington State Cougars 45 to 38 percent in the first twenty minutes. BYU finished the game edging out Washington State 44 to 41 percent in that category.
The BYU Cougars outrebounded Washington State 22-17 in the first half, but finished tied in the category at 40-40.
Washington State led by as many as six points at two separate times in the first half. BYU’s largest lead of the game was eleven points at three separate points in the second half.
Fueled by two Lexi Eaton 3-pointers, BYU regained the lead with 4:45 left in the first half for the first time since five minutes into the game. The BYU Cougars never lost the lead despite Washington State coming back to tie the game multiple times.
Eaton led all scorers in the first half with 16 and five rebounds. She finished the game with a career-high in points (27) and a tie for a career high in boards with nine. This was just her third time scoring 20-plus points in her career.
Jennifer Hamson scored double-figure points with 20 to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks. She scored 18 of her points in the second half. It was her third consecutive game scoring 20-plus points.
Kim Beeston surpassed Thais Kidd in career 3-pointers at 172 with her four – sixth best in Cougar history. She finished the game with a season-high 21 points and five rebounds to go along with a game-high seven assists.
Ashley Garfield came off the bench to contribute seven points, eight boards and a team-high three steals in BYU’s win.