Keilani Unga goes up for a score vs. Utah State. (Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Haley Steed recorded her first double-double of the season, scoring a season-high 22 points and tying a season high with 12 assists to lead the Cougars to an 81-77 victory over Utah State Tuesday night at the Marriott Center. Her 12 assists moved her past Valerie Cravens as the all-time career assists leader at BYU with 623 total.
“I’m really happy," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "It was a nice win. I thought we had some really tough kids that came down the stretch and made some big plays for us with Haley hitting a couple threes, and I thought Ashley (Garfield) gave us a lot of opportunities with getting her rebounds and getting us another chance.”
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The Cougars (4-4) rode a hot shooting night from 3-point land to build a large lead in the second half and then held on late to beat the Aggies (2-6). BYU set a season high with 3-pointers made with 13 and 3-point field goal percentage at 44.8 percent.
Early in the second half, the Cougars had built a comfortable 13-point cushion five minutes into the period, pushing their lead to 51-38 on a deep three by Kylie Maeda.
The Aggies responded by going on a 23-12 run to bring the score to 62-61 for BYU with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.
Steed nailed one of her six 3-pointers to send BYU on a mini 9-4 run to push the lead to 71-65. Utah State fought back, cutting the Cougar lead to 75-72 with 1:15 left. The Cougars hit 6-of-7 free throws in the final minute to keep the lead and win the game.
“Utah State was way more aggressive in the zone tonight than they were against anybody else," Judkins said. "I give them a lot of credit. I thought they played really well tonight, especially Williams, I think she was out of her head hitting shots. She played really well and so did Johnson. Those two are really good players.”
The BYU bench outscored the Utah State bench 25-5, led by career highs of nine points by both Ashley Garfield and Xojian Harry. Garfield also added a career-high 16 rebounds. Kim Parker Beeston scored 15 points and dished out five assists. Morgan Bailey tied a career high with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Utah State grabbed an early 11-5 lead, capitalizing on missed shots and turnovers by the Cougars. BYU fought back on 3-pointers by Eaton and Steed to get the lead at 15-13 with 11 minutes left in the first half.
The teams matched bucket for bucket and were tied at 26-26 with just over six minutes left. A three by Steed and a jumper by Harry helped the Cougars finish the half on a 13-5 run to go into the locker room with a 39-31 lead.
The next game for the Cougars is Saturday at Utah in the Deseret First Duel at 3 p.m. MST at the Huntsman Center.
· With Haley Steed’s third assist of the night, she passed Valerie Craven to become BYU’s all-time leader in career assists with 14:48 left in the first half. With a season-high 22 points and tying her season high with 12 assists, she recorded her first double-double of the season. Steed also tied her career high of six 3-pointers. All but four of her points were off 3-pointers. She shot 50 percent from beyond the arc and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.
· Kim Beeston had 15 points and five assists to tie her season high. She shot 50 percent on the night.
· Morgan Bailey tied her career high of 12 points. She also had nine rebounds.
· Xojian Harry tied her career high and set a new season high with nine points.
· Ashley Garfield had a career-high 16 rebounds and a career-high nine points. Garfield was 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
· BYU’s 13 3-pointers were a season high.
· BYU had 40 rebounds to the Aggies’ 28 rebounds and led in assists 25-12. The teams had equal amounts of turnovers, with each collecting 18. USU led in the steals battle 15-7.
· BYU shot 44.1 percent during the game and 44.8 from the 3-point line.
· The Cougars tied their season high of 25 assists.
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GAME TO BE REBROADCAST ON BYUTV
BYUtv will air a special encore of the USU vs. BYU women’s basketball played in Provo Tuesday night at 7 p.m., tonight.
The rebroadcast will replace BYUtv's scheduled live men's basketball game between BYU and the Aggies that was supposed to be played tonight at the Marriott Center.
Athletics officials from BYU and Utah State determined that tonight's men's basketball game between the two universities will be postponed due to the serious medical condition of USU student-athlete Danny Berger that occurred during practice on Tuesday.
The game will be preceded at the top and again at halftime by a short introduction featuring Dave McCann explaining the game postponement circumstances and extending well-wishes to Danny, his family, teammates, and USU fans.