(Photo by Todd Wakefield/BYU Photo)
After a decisive 67-43 victory over Portland Thursday night, BYU women’s basketball (20-5, 10-4) continues its West Coast Conference schedule at home. Saturday at 2 p.m. MST, the Cougars host No. 25 Gonzaga (23-3, 13-1). The Bulldogs are in first place in the league standings.
Game Promotion vs. Gonzaga
• Pack the House Day
• Two for One – Buy one regular-season ticket for $5 and get the second ticket free
With the win over Portland, BYU head coach Jeff Judkins picked up his 20th win of the year, making it the eighth 20-plus win season and the fourth straight in his 13-year tenure with the women’s program. Senior center Jennifer Hamson leads BYU in points, rebounds and blocked shots with 18.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game while averaging 4.2 blocks. Hamson leads the nation in blocked shots, ranks 12th in double-doubles, 16th in rebounds per game and 21st in field goal percentage.
Three other Cougar players are also recording double figures in points, with Lexi Eaton putting up 17.0, followed by 11.0 points from Kim Beeston. Junior forward Morgan Bailey rounds out the scoring output, contributing 10.0 points. She is in second place in rebounds, pulling down 7.3 per contest.
As a team, the Cougar women are averaging 71.7 points per game and are holding opponents to 64.2 points. BYU, who ranks fourth in the country in blocked shots per game, has recorded more blocks than opponents in 22 games and has dished out more assists in 19 of the 25 games played to date. The team has also recorded more rebounds than opponents in 19 contests.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) 13th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Hamson, 18.2 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Hamson, 11.2 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #4 Beeston, 3.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #4 Beeston, 1.2 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #5 Hamson, 4.2 bpg
With a 23-3, 13-1 record, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are ranked 15th in the latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, are in first place in the WCC standings this week. They are coming off a 66-48 win at San Diego.
Haiden Palmer is one of three players scoring in double digits for Gonzaga averaging 15.8 points per game. She’s followed by Sunny Greinacher, who contributes 11.3 points, with Lindsay Sherbret chipping in 10.5 points per contest. The Bulldogs are averaging 76.5 points and are pulling down 42.5 rebounds per game.
• Head coach: Kelly Graves (University of New Mexico, 1988) 13th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #3 Palmer, 15.8 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #14 Greinacher, 5.5 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #34 Redmond, 3.8 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #3 Palmer, 3.1 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #44 Cheslek, 1.3 bpg
Gonzaga leads the series 8-5. When playing in Provo, the Bulldogs have a 2-2 record. In last year’s game in Provo, Gonzaga picked up the 66-55 victory on Feb. 23, 2013.
BYU dropped its second conference game of the season in Spokane 68-42 on Jan. 9. The 42 points scored in that game were the lowest scored this season. The Cougars led at 2-0, but the Bulldogs took the lead after that and never looked back.
Lexi Eaton was the only Cougar to score in double figures, getting 18 points to go along with five boards. Ashley Garfield came off of the bench to grab team bests in rebounds (8) and steals (2). For the first time of the season, Jennifer Hamson fouled out of the game after playing just 13 minutes.
BYU was only down by 11, 32-21 at halftime but could not cut into the Bulldog lead in the second half of action.
The Cougar women will make their final road trip in league action, heading to southern California. BYU is at Pepperdine on Feb. 20 and at LMU on Feb. 22.
The team then returns to close out the WCC season hosting San Diego on Saturday, Mar. 1 at 1 p.m. MST.