(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
TUCSON, Ariz. – Jennifer Hamson shined in her season debut to help lift BYU to a 62-48 win over unbeaten Arizona Tuesday on the road.
In her first game with the Cougars (3-2) this season, Hamson recorded a double-double with a career-high 23 points while pulling down 14 rebounds. Hamson also totaled five blocks.
“Jennifer Hamson causes so many problems for the other team,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Not just with scoring but her defensive presence. It’s nice to have her back. She is a great player.”
Lexi Eaton and Kim Parker Beeston joined Hamson in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Eaton was perfect from the line, knocking in 6 of 6. Beeston added five assists and three steals.
BYU’s bench outscored Arizona (4-1) 13-3. The Cougars rallied for 36 points in the paint to the Wildcats’ 10.
Arizona took an early 9-5 lead, its largest of the half, until a trey by Beeston at 8:10 tied the game 10-10.
Free throws by Eaton sparked a 10-2 run by BYU. Coming off the bench, Ashley Garfield gave the Cougars their first lead, 19-18, on a layup with 4:05 left in the period. Garfield chipped in five of the next seven points.
“Ashley Garfield came in and did a great job,” Judkins said. “She had a couple nice baskets and had plays on defense. She gave us a big spark today.”
Haley Steed found Garfield open down court on a fast break. Garfield converted the basket and went on to finish the three-point play from the line for a 26-19 score with two minutes until the break.
Morgan Bailey knocked in another shot for a nine-point lead, the Cougars’ largest of the half, with 1:10 on the clock. Arizona hit two from the charity stripe to end the first half with BYU ahead 28-21.
Two free throws and a bucket by Hamson kicked off the second half and a 10-2 Cougar run. Eaton extended the BYU lead to double-digits with two shots from the line with 17:11 on the clock.
Hamson continued to be an offensive weapon with two field goals with 15:52 registering on the clock to build on BYU’s lead, 38-23, for a 15-point advantage. An Arizona layup and trey cut the Cougars’ lead back to single digits, 42-33, with 13:14 remaining.
A Hamson layup sparked a 9-2 run that pushed BYU ahead by 17 with five minutes left. Beeston contributed five of the nine points for the Cougars.
Arizona attempted a comeback with back-to-back treys to cut BYU’s lead to 10 with 2:38 to play. Two shots from the line brought the Wildcats within eight.
Hamson haulted the 8-0 Arizona run with a layup for BYU before Eaton hit both free throws to extend its lead to 60-48 with 1:22 to play. Hamson finished the game with a bucket for a 62-48 final.
“We did a great job playing the defensive game plan we set up,” Judkins said. “It was a really good team effort.”
BYU has one more road contest this week. They are at Washington State on Sat. Nov. 24 in a 3 p.m., PT tip off.
BYU finished the contest outrebounding Arizona 43 - 35.
The Cougars dished out 14 assists to the Wildcats' nine.
For the fourth time on the season, three Cougar players recorded double figures in points led by Jennifer Hamson’s 23. Lexi Eaton tallied 14 and Kim Parker Beeston had 12.
The win over Arizona improves head coach Judkins’s record against Pac-12 schools to 14-7.
Jennifer Hamson traveled with the team for the first time this season and made her first start at Arizona. In the game, she recorded her first double-double of the year and the fourth of her career with 23 points and 14 rebounds. The points and rebounds were game and career highs. Hamson also recorded season bests in blocks with five. She alone had the same number of blocks as the entire Arizona team.
Kim Beeston’s 12 points marked the fourth game putting up double-digits in points on the season.
For the fifth time on the year, Haley Steed dished out team highs in assists. Against the Wildcats she had seven.
Lexi Eaton was the third BYU player to put up double figures in points, finishing the game with 12. It was Eaton’s fifth straight double-digit outing on the season.