(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
SAN FRANCISCO – A double-double from senior Jennifer Hamson helped lead BYU women’s basketball (19-5, 9-4) to a 73-66 victory Saturday on the road at San Francisco.
“I'm really proud of these girls,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “This was a tough trip after being on the road for two weeks now. I really thought Kylie (Maeda) did a great job at attacking the rim today. She gave us one more option to score when they tried to key on Jen or Lexi. We made defensive plays when we needed to and were able to get the ball into Jen in the post. She made some big baskets for us when they were trying to make runs down the stretch.”
Hamson had 25 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks to lead the Cougars. Lexi Eaton contributed 19 points, five boards and four assists. Kylie Maeda scored 13 points for the second-straight game while Kim Beeston was the fourth Cougar to score in double figures with 10.
Despite shooting near 15 percent from the floor to start the game, BYU ended hitting 40 percent while holding San Francisco (9-15, 4-9) to 39 percent shooting.
It took the Cougars nearly four minutes to get their first field goal of the game – a turnaround jumper from Hamson made the score 5-3, advantage Dons.
A made free throw from Kristine Fuller tied things up at 11 apiece with 11:15 left to go in the first half. San Francisco followed that point with a 10-0 run to go ahead by double digits, 21-11.
BYU then went on a 10-2 rally of its own to cut the score to 23-21 with help from a pair of layups by Eaton.
An Eaton 3-pointer put the Cougars up with their largest lead of the half at four, 33-29, and forced the Dons to call a timeout.
It was all tied 33-33 at halftime after San Francisco had the last made shot of the half with 39 seconds remaining.
Beeston got her first points of the game after hitting a 3-pointer to start things out in the second half.
With just over three minutes played after the break, BYU went up by eight points at 43-35 from a pair of Eaton free throws. Hamson hit a layup just over a minute later to put the Cougars up by double digits for the first time at 47-37.
San Francisco followed with a 10-4 run to cut BYU’s advantage to just four at 51-47. Both teams traded points from there with the Cougars staying ahead 66-60 at the under four media timeout.
With 2:16 remaining in the game, Paige Spietz for the Dons hit a jumper to cut BYU’s lead to three. The score remained at 68-65 until a foul on San Francisco gave Eaton a point from the charity stripe with 37 seconds remaining in the game.
Maeda and Hamson sealed the 73-66 win by both hitting a pair of free throws in the last seconds of the game.
The win puts the Cougars tied for second place in the West Coast Conference, behind league leader Gonzaga.
BYU returns home to the Marriott Center next Thursday at 7 p.m. MST to take on the Portland Pilots before hosting No. 20/15 Gonzaga Saturday at 2 p.m. MST. Both games will be broadcast live on BYUtv. Links to live stats and video feeds can be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
The win over San Francisco puts BYU tied for second place with Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference standings with a 9-4 mark.
With four players finishing in double figure points in the road win over San Francisco, it’s the 16th time BYU has had at least three players with 10-plus points. Hamson (25), Eaton (19), Maeda (13) and Beeston (10).
The Cougars had a strong inside presence against the Dons with a 30 to 12 point advantage inside the paint.
BYU finished the game shooting .870 (20-23) from the free throw line, the best of the season to date.
Jennifer Hamson picked up her 16th double-double of the year and the fourth straight from 25 points and 13 rebounds. The 25 points are the 12th time and the third straight that she’s finished a game with 20-plus points. Both the points and rebounds were game highs, as were the eight blocks.
For the fourth straight and 18th time this season, Lexi Eaton recorded double digits in points with 19. She also had five rebounds, four rebounds and a team-best two steals.
Kylie Maeda finished the game with 13 points for the second straight and the fifth game this year that she’s had double digits in points. It’s also the second straight she’s been perfect at the free throw line going 4 for 4.
Kim Beeston tallied 10 points, six coming from 3-point range making it the 17th time this season she’s finished in double figures in points.