First Defeat a Heartbreaker

Ambrosia Anderson fought hard in the heartbreaking loss against North Carolina State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU women's basketball team ran the length of the floor enough to make even the fans tired in a well-fought 67-65 loss against North Carolina State Wednesday.

Previously one of only nine undefeated teams in the country, the Cougars (8-1) fell to NC State (8-3) in a battle that lasted to the final seconds of a game filled with intensity.

With one minute remaining, BYU's Ambrosia Anderson hit a three-pointer to even the score at 65-65 but the Wolfpack's Billie McDowell responded on the other end to give NC State a two-point advantage with 41 seconds on the clock. The Cougars failed to get a shot off on their next possession and were forced to foul with five seconds left. After the NC State free throw by Ashley Key was no good, Anderson tried to push the ball upcourt but had the ball knocked loose without a call as time expired.

"NC State is a very good team. They hit big baskets when they had to hit them and we had our chances," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "Tonight was the first time in a long time I saw us make mental mistakes and we can't afford to do that."

The game began fast-paced and aggressive with strong defense leading to several fouls and frustration. Anderson, BYU's leading scorer on the season, struggled in the beginning, making only one of 10 attempts in the first 10 minutes of the game, including a miss on her first seven attempts. She did eventually recover though and made three 3-point shots in the second 10 minutes of the first half to excite the crowd and her teammates.

The Cougars began to show their skill late in the first half and left for the locker room at the half with an 11-point lead at 39-28.

NC State returned from halftime on fire and made four consecutive shots, including a 3-point jumper, to cut BYU's lead to two with a 9-0 run.

"I think the key to the game tonight was the start of the second half," Judkins said. "We turned it over three out of four times and not just turned it over, gave them baskets. We just didn't come out in the second half with the energy that we needed."

The Cougars went nearly six minutes without a basket as the Wolfpack women continued to build momentum. NC State took its first lead since the beginning of the first half when Tiffany Stansbury converted at the 10:43 mark to give the Wolfpack a 45-44 advantage.

NC State persevered in their second-half rally, even though the Cougars tied the score on five occasions and never trailed by more than three points in the final nine minutes of the contest.

There were highlights in this let-down loss against NC State. Cougar three-pointers were a guiding light as the two teams fought to get ahead. Nancy Seljaas added her three 3-pointers to Anderson's four and Mallary Gillespie added one of her own.

Anderson led in points for the Cougars, totaling 21 on the night. NC State's Stansbury led her team with 20 points.

BYU will try to get back in the win column after the Christmas holiday with a game against Weber State in Ogden, Utah on Dec. 28. They will then return to the Marriott Center on Dec. 30 for a 2 p.m. tipoff against Portland.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

NC State Wolfpack vs BYU Cougars

12-21-05 7:00 PM at MARRIOTT CTR, BYU, PROVO, UT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VISITORS: NC State Wolfpack 8-3

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

01 WHITTINGTON, Khadija * 5-13 0-0 2-3 4 3 7 4 12 1 2 0 3 26

11 POPE, Monica........ * 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 0 1 17

13 MCDOWELL, Billie.... * 4-7 1-3 0-0 0 5 5 3 9 1 5 0 0 20

15 KEY, Ashley......... * 6-14 2-6 1-3 0 6 6 3 15 3 1 0 3 34

44 STANSBURY, Tiffany.. * 8-16 0-0 4-5 3 1 4 2 20 0 5 1 1 31

03 BROWN, Keisha....... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 12

04 REAVES, Sasha....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3

12 DICKENS, Marquetta.. 1-3 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 2 1 0 1 21

32 MCCOLLINS, Tiffany.. 2-3 0-0 2-4 2 5 7 0 6 2 3 0 2 28

35 WILHELM, Danielle... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

55 GORING, Gillian..... 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 4

TEAM................ 1 5 6

Totals.............. 27-61 4-12 9-15 10 29 39 14 67 13 18 3 11 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-27 37.0% 2nd Half: 17-34 50.0% Game: 44.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-4 25.0% 2nd Half: 3-8 37.5% Game: 33.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 7-12 58.3% 2nd Half: 2-3 66.7% Game: 60.0% 4

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 8-1

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

33 ANDERSON, Ambrosia.. f 8-23 4-11 1-2 0 8 8 2 21 3 4 0 2 34

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... f 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 2 4 1 3 0 2 28

45 KUBIK, Dani......... c 2-6 0-1 1-2 1 2 3 4 5 0 1 1 1 21

15 KEELE, Jennie....... g 3-3 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 3 7 3 3 0 2 21

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 2-9 1-5 0-0 1 3 4 2 5 5 2 0 1 33

01 SELJAAS, Nancy...... 4-8 3-5 1-1 0 2 2 0 12 1 3 0 2 19

10 STRATTON, Laura..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 6

24 HUTSON, Vanessa..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 11

32 SLADE, Shawnee...... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 9

52 RILEY, Lauren....... 4-9 0-0 1-2 2 3 5 1 9 1 0 1 2 19

TEAM................ 3 1 4

Totals.............. 26-62 8-22 5-9 9 26 35 15 65 19 17 2 12 201

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-34 44.1% 2nd Half: 11-28 39.3% Game: 41.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-12 41.7% 2nd Half: 3-10 30.0% Game: 36.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-7 57.1% 2nd Half: 1-2 50.0% Game: 55.6% 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Officials: JACK JONES, ROBERT STRONG, KENT JOHNSON

Technical fouls: NC State Wolfpack-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 563

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

NC State Wolfpack............. 28 39 - 67

BYU Cougars................... 39 26 - 65

OFFICIAL FINAL

Tags: Results