Five in double digits lead BYU to win

Keilani Unga scored 10 points to help lead the Cougars to a 79-57 defeat of Dixie State. (Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah-The BYU women’s basketball team dominated in the paint and had five players in double-digits to defeat Dixie State 79-57 in its second exhibition game of the season Friday night at the Marriott Center.

“This was what we wanted,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We wanted the game to challenge us. They are a great team and they’ll probably win their league. They were able to get us out of our rhythm. The game allowed a lot of the young kids to see what their role on the team is and decide whether or not they want to play or redshirt their first year.”

BYU scored 36 of its 79 points in the paint and was led by Haley Steed with 15 points and seven assists. Kim Parker Beeston and Lexi Eaton scored 14 points each, while Keilani Unga and Ashley Garfield each added 10 points.

Four minutes into the game, Garfield scored back-to-back points for the Cougars to lift them to a 9-6 lead. Beeston scored BYU’s first three of the game at 16:03 and then Steed followed suit a minute later to give BYU the 16-12 lead heading into the first media timeout.

Both teams fell into a scoring slump at 10:48, which ended on a score in the post at 8:24 from Dixie State to cut the Cougar lead to seven at 26-19. However, BYU answered quickly with a 3-point shot from Kylie Maeda to extend the Cougar lead back to 10. Beeston added another three at 6:37 on an inbound pass from Steed to take the score to 32-21. BYU added four more points to head into the locker room at the half with the 43-32 lead.

The Cougars started the second half on a layup from Eaton 10 seconds in and added two more at 18:46 with a put back from Unga. Dixie State cut the Cougar lead to eight at 16:37 with a jump shot from Mandy Munns, but Steed answered once again with a 3-point shot to push the Cougar lead back to double-digits.

BYU was quiet on offense until the 13:15 mark when Garfield sunk two free throws to put BYU up 52-45. The Cougars added eight more points in four minutes to earn their biggest lead of the night at 68-53 with 4:47 left in the game. Dixie State cut the lead with a two-point jumper at 3:38, but Xojian Harry converted at the top of the arc to extend the BYU lead to 16.

The Cougars held onto the double-digit lead during the final three minutes, converting on another Dixie State technical and staying tough on defense to earn the 79-57 win.

BYU will play Weber State next in the Cougars' home and season opener on Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. MST.