Haley Steed leads the nation in assists. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU women’s basketball (12-4, 3-0) continues WCC play with one road game this week. The Cougars are at Gonzaga (13-5, 3-1) Thurs. Jan. 17 in a 6 p.m. PST tip off. Fans can listen to the game live on BYU Radio.
The Cougars were selected to finish first in conference play as voted by the league’s coaches. Last year BYU finished second behind Gonzaga with a 12-4 record, winning its first WCC championship and representing the league as the automatic qualifier in the NCAA tournament.
BYU is on a nine-game win streak. The Cougars haveoutrebounded theiropponents in 10 of the games played. In all but two contests (at Boston College and at Washington State) the Cougars dished out more assists than their opponents. BYU has enjoyed a halftime lead in all but two games to date (vs. Seattle and at Washington State). The BYU bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 321-207. When comparing points in the paint, the Cougars have scored 438 points to 358 from opponents. In the team’s league victory over Pepperdine, four players scored in double figures marking the third time that BYU has had four players scoring in double digits this season.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) enters his 12th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 13.0 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Hamson, 8.9 rpg
• Team’s assist leader: #33 Haley Steed, 7.9 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #33 Steed, 2.0 spg
BYU’S PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
#33 Haley Steed– (5-4 guard, GS.) 8.6 ppg; 4.0 rpg; 7.8 apg
#4 Kim Parker Beeston– (5-11 guard, Jr.) 10.3 ppg; 3.9 rpg; 2.3 apg
#11 Xojian Harry– (5-10 guard, So.) 4.3 ppg; 1.4 rpg; 0.5 apg
#45 Keilani Unga– (6-2 forward, Sr.) 5.7 ppg; 4.3 rpg; 1.1 apg
#5 Jennifer Hamson– (6-7 center, Jr.) 13.4 ppg; 8.9 rpg; 0.6 apg
After picking up an 82-51 road win at Portland, Gonzaga improved its record to 13-5 overall, 3-1 in WCC action. The Bulldogs return two starters and nine letterwinners. Last year Gonzaga advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen after compiling a 28-6 overall record. They won the 2012 WCC regular season crown with a 14-2 mark. When playing at home, the Bulldogs are 7-3 this year.
• Head coach: Kelly Graves is in his 12th season at Gonzaga
• Team’s leading scorer: #3 Haiden Palmer, 12.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #14 Sunny Greinacher, 5.3 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #34 Jazmine Redmon, 4.3 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #3 Palmer, 3.0 spg
BYU leads the series 5-4
These two teams ended up playing three times during the 2011-12 WCC schedule. Each team won on its own court. In the first game played in Provo on Feb. 9, BYU picked up the 70-40 win. The Cougars had three players score in double figures led by Kim Parker’s 16, Jennifer Hamson’s 14 and 11 points and 10 rebounds from Kristen Riley who recorded her seventh double-double of the year in that contest. In the game at Spokane on Feb. 25, the Bulldogs clinched the 2012 regular season title with the 77-60 victory. BYU once again had three players in double figures in points with 17 from Haley Steed, 13 from Lexi Eaton and 11 from Riley. The two met once again, this time at the Orleans Arena in the championship game of the 2012 Zappos WCC Women’s Basketball Championships. In that game, the Cougars defeated the Bulldogs 78-66 to clinch their first ever WCC championship crown.
WCC action continues next week with the team hosting Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.The game is slated to air live on BYUtv. BYU then travels to San Francisco for its second meeting with the Dons on Saturday, Jan.26 at 2 p.m. PST. The Cougars defeated USF in Provo 80-58, on Jan. 5. Fans can follow the action live on BYU Radio.