The Cougars's three seniors were recognized at the end of the home game vs. Santa Clara, Thursday night. (Photo by Kylea Knecht/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah –In their final home game at the Marriott Center, seniors Haley Steed, Dani Peterson and Kristen Riley left their mark en route to a 84-57 BYU women’s basketball victory over the Santa Clara Broncos on Thursday.
“I thought we played really well and I’m happy for my seniors,” said BYU coach Jeff Judkins. “You couldn’t ask for a better senior group. They’re well rounded, tough and they have great leadership. It’s definitely hard to say goodbye to these seniors.”
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The seniors dominated the game from start to finish, contributing on all ends of the floor. Riley led the team with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Peterson added 11 points and 13 rebounds. Steed was one point short of the third double-double by the seniors with nine points and 11 assists. With the total assists Steed set the all-time single season record for total assists with 206.
“Our inside presence tonight really hurt them,” Judkins said. “I think that was our advantage. The girls do well in finding out our advantage over the other team and I would attribute that to Haley. Her leadership guides the team.”
The Cougars (24-5, 12-3) started off quick, jumping out to an early 7-0 lead. However, Santa Clara (11-17, 4-11) clawed back, using a 5-2 run of its own to cut the lead.
From that point on, it was all Cougars.
With 13:35 left in the first half, Steed received a pass at the top of the key and drained a 3 from well beyond the arc, bringing the crowd to its feet. Steed would connect on her next two 3-point attempts, helping BYU to a 46-22 halftime lead.
The second half mirrored that of the first as Riley scored the first two points, giving her 1,000 for her career. She is the 22nd Cougar to achieve that feat.
“All of our hard work boils down to these games,” Steed said. “We need to win against Gonzaga. Today was emotional though. We love playing here, it’s our home and we’re glad to have been able to play so well tonight.”
BYU will travel to Spokane on Saturday for a chance to win the West Coast Conference regular-season title. BYU and Gonzaga tip off at 2 p.m. PST.
BYU took the early lead on a 7-0 run and didn’t give up the lead the entire game.
The Cougars shot 46.4 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from beyond the arc, holding Santa Clara to 28.3 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from 3-point.
BYU had 30 assists to the Broncos’ 11. BYU lead 48-14 in the paint and 24-0 on second chance points. BYU’s bench also outscored Santa Clara’s 28-15.
Two of the three seniors recorded double-doubles—Kristen Riley and Dani Peterson—and five players in double figures. The last time five scored in double digits was in BYU’s road victory against Santa Clara earlier this season.
Senior Kristen Riley reached 1,000 career points, becoming the 22nd Cougar in history to reach 1,000. Riley passed former teammate Coriann Fraughton to become No. 21 on the all-time career points list with 1,009. She also recorded a double-double in her last game in the Marriott Center with her 17 points and 10 rebounds. In addition, Riley contributed two assists and two blocks. The double-double was her 10th double-double this season and 14th of her career.
Senior Dani Peterson also ended her career in the Marriott Center with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 boards, a season and career high, for her . She also had four assists.
Senior Haley Steed was just short of a double-double with nine points and 11 assists. She also had three 3-pointers, shooting 75 percent from beyond the arc, five rebounds and three steals. With the 11 assists, Steed set the all-time single season record for total assists with 206. The previous record was set by Valerie Cravens during the 1981-82 season.
Jennifer Hamson totaled 14 points and six rebounds, shooting 100 percent from the free-throw line.
Stephanie Vermunt shot a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc for 12 points. She also had three rebounds and three assists.
Kim Parker was the fifth Cougar in double figures with 11 points. She also had six assists and two rebounds.