Final league games on the road

(Photo by Bella Torgenson/BYU Photo)

Entering the last week of West Coast Conference action,  BYU women’s basketball finishes league play with two road games. The Cougar women (19-8, 10-4) are in third place in the latest conference standings, one game behind San Diego. BYU is in Los Angeles Thursday night battling LMU (10-17, 4-10) in a 7 p.m. PST tip off. The Lions are in seventh place in league play.

On Saturday BYU travels to the northwest to take on league foe Portland (10-17, 5-9)  who is in sixth place entering this week’s final games. The contest between the Cougars and the Pilots tips off at 2 p.m. PST and airs live on BYU Radio.

BYU Capsule
The Cougar team has outrebounded its opponents in 17 of the 27 games played. The BYU bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 503-344. When comparing points in the paint, the Cougars have scored 712 points to 568 from opponents.

BYU has had a halftime lead in all but seven games to date (vs. Gonzaga, vs. SD, vs. SMC, at USF, at Gonzaga, vs. Seattle and at Washington State).

In only five contests (vs. Gonzaga, at USF, at Gonzaga, at Boston College and at Washington State) theCougars did not record more assists than their opponents.

Balanced scoring has added to the team’s success this year.  To date, three players have put up double figures in points in 12 games and four players finished with double-digit scoring in four games (at PEP, vs. PEP, vs. Tulsa, vs. UCSB)

• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78), enters his 12th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #33 Haley Steed, 10.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 7.9 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #33 Steed, 7.8 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #33 Steed, 2.2 spg

BYU’S PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
#33 Haley Steed– (5-4 guard, GS.) 10.7 ppg; 3.9 rpg; 7.8 apg
#4 Kim Parker Beeston– (5-11 guard, Jr.) 10.0 ppg; 4.0 rpg; 2.4 apg
#12 Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn – (6-0 guard/forward, Jr.) 6.1 ppg; 2.6 rpg; 1.5 apg
#45 Keilani Unga– (6-2 forward, Sr.) 7.3 ppg; 4.4 rpg; 0.9 apg
#5 Jennifer Hamson– (6-7 center, Jr.) 10.4 ppg; 7.9 rpg; 0.7 apg

LMU Capsule
In seventh place in the latest WCC standings with a 4-10 mark, LMU has recorded league victories over San Francisco, Santa Clara and swept the series vs. Pepperdine. LMU returns 10 letterwinners including three starters. At home, the Lions are 3-4 in league action. They are coming off a 70-57 loss at Saint Mary’s.

• Head coach: Charity Elliott is in her first season at LMU
• Team’s leading scorer: #3 Alex Cowling, 15.4 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #35 Mackenzie Kerins, 7.5 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #4 Hazel Ramirez, 4.9 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #3 Cowling, 2.0 spg

Series History
BYU leads the series 5-0.

Last Meeting
In the first game between these two conference foes on Jan. 24 in Provo, the Cougars picked up the 74-53 win. In the contest three players scored in double figures led by 15 from Kim Parker Beeston, all from behind the arc. Jennifer Hamson and Morgan Bailey each scored 10 points in the winning effort with Beeston pulling down a game-best nine rebounds. Teammate Haley Steed dished out a season-best 13 assists. BYU shot 50 percent from the field and held LMU to 33 percent shooting from the field. The Cougars outrebounded the Lions 46-28 and scored 38 points in the paint to LMU’s 18.

Portland Capsule
In the latest league standings, Portland is in sixth place with a 5-9 mark. On the season they’ve compiled a 10-17 record. They are coming off losses to Saint Mary’s and to BYU. They play at Gonzaga Thursday night before hosting the Cougars on Saturday afternoon. The Pilots return eight letterwinners including three starters. Last season they finished in seventh place in the WCC race with a 4-12 record.

• Head coach: Jim Sollars is in his 26th season at Portland
• Team’s leading scorer: #23 Kari Luttinen, 12.3 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #33 Amy Pupa, 7.9 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 Jasmine Wooton, 3.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #32 Wooton, 2.1 spg

Series History
BYU leads the series 11-4

Last Meeting
Haley Steed and Jennifer Hamson combined for 46 points to lead the Cougar women to a 79-64 victory over Portland in their first meeting in Provo on Feb. 21. Steed hit a new season-best with 23 points, one point shy of her career best. During the second half, she went 6 for 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the 3-point line. She also finished with nine assists and two steals. Hamson tied her career best with 23 points in addition to eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Keilani Unga and Ashley Garfield finished with eight and seven points, respectively. BYU shot 52 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line. Portland shot 34 percent from the field and 100 percent from the charity stripe.  Annika Holopainen led the Pilots with 15 points.

Up Next
The Cougars get set to compete in the 2013 Zappos West Coast Conference Championships from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas from March 6-11.  The winner gets an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. BYU goes into the tournament as the 2012 tournament champions.

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