(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah -- Behind Kim Beeston
's career-high six three-pointers, BYU women's basketball torched South Dakota State 81-53, Friday at the Marriott Center.
"This was one of the best games I've seen one of my teams play in a long time," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins
said. "I thought the defensive effort was great tonight and I really thought offensively we got excellent balance with outside shots to inside presence, to getting to the foul line. If our team plays like this, we're hard to stop."
and Beeston led the Cougars with 18 points apiece. Jennifer Hamson
dominated in the post with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks while Morgan Bailey
also chipped in 13 points in the post.
With 11:35 left in the first half, the game was close in favor of South Dakota State, 16-14. BYU then opened up a 19-3 run.
Beeston sparked the Cougars during the run. Leading by five, 21-16, Hamson kicked the ball out from the post to Kim Beeston
behind the arc for her second three of the game. The Jackrabbits attempted to counter as Beeston came up with a steal. The senior guard then finished on the other end with another three, pushing the score to 27-16 and forcing the Jackrabbits to call a timeout.
The Cougars led by 16 points just before the halftime buzzer as sophomore Kylie Maeda
drove through the defense, finishing at the basket to bring the score to 41-25 with five seconds left in the half.
South Dakota State was held to 25 percent shooting from the field, but stayed in the game with their three-point shooting as they shot 6 for 13. BYU stifled its inside game with five team blocks in the first half.
Coming out of the break, Eaton scored BYU's first five points and Beeston added another three-pointer.
After a Jackrabbit three-pointer, BYU assembled another run to put the game out of reach. The Cougars outscored the Jackrabbits 16-3 over the next 7:23 of the half to extend the lead even more, 57-31.
BYU tied last year’s season highs in points (81) and blocks (10) while exceeding last season's high of 47.1 percent from the three-point line.
"Jen only got 13 points tonight, but she caused a lot of baskets for everybody else because of her presence," Judkins said. "Defensively, I thought she played a perfect game."
Judkins is now 11-2 in season openers in his time at BYU. The Jackrabbits have played in the NCAA tournament for the past three years.
"They'll win their league," Judkins said. "They've won 25 games each season for a long time there. This win helped us gain a lot of confidence knowing that if we play as a team, then we're a tough team to beat."
BYU’s first road game is Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 4 p.m. PST against UNLV at Las Vegas. The game will be broadcast on BYU Radio.
BYU led by as many as 16 points in the first half at 41-25. Kyle Maeda scored a layup with :05 left in the first half to give the Cougars the double-digit advantage heading into the break. The largest lead of the game was 32 points at 73-41 with 6:34 left in the second half, from an Ashley Garfield layup.
There were three lead changes and one tie during the game, all in the first 10 minutes of the game.
BYU shot 48 percent in the first half, compared to just 25 percent for the Jackrabbits, and finished the game shooting 47 percent from the field.
The Cougars had 10 blocks as a team, led by Jennifer Hamson’s five, to tie BYU’s season high from last year. They also tied last year’s season high in points by finishing the game with 81.
Coach Jeff Judkins is now 11-2 in home season openers.
Four Cougars had double-digit points to finish the game: Kim Beeston and Lexi Eaton both had 18, Jennifer Hamson and Morgan Bailey both finished with 13 apiece.
Hamson had 13 points and five rebounds in the first half of the game to lead all players from both teams. She finished with a double-double consisting of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Kim Beeston set a new career high in three-pointers made, hitting 6 of 10. She also led the team in assists with five.