Second half of WCC race starts with four road games for Cougar women

(Photo by BYU Photo/Todd Wakefield)

PROVO, Utah—After recording back-to-back league victories at home, BYU women’s basketball (16-4, 6-3) begins the second half of West Coast Conference action with four straight road games.

The team’s road swing starts with a Thursday night matchup at Saint Mary’s (16-4, 6-3) in Moraga, Calif. Both teams are tied for third place entering this week’s action. Tipoff between the Cougars and Gaels is set for 6 p.m. PST and the game will be streamed live on TheW.tv.

On BYU
Senior center Jennifer Hamson is one of three Cougar players who are putting up double digits in scoring, averaging 16.9 points per game. She has scored in double figures in all but four games. Sophomore guard Lexi Eaton is averaging 15.4 points per game with teammate Kim Beeston rounding out the double-digit output, contributing 11.8 points per contest.

As a team, BYU is averaging 70.3 points per game and is holding opponents to 64.2 points. The Cougars have recorded more blocks than opponents in 17 games and have dished out more assists in 16 of the 20 games played to date. They have also recorded more rebounds in 15 contests.

• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78) enters his 13th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Hamson, 16.9 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Hamson, 10.5 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #4 Beeston, 3.7 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #4 Beeston, 1.3 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #5 Hamson, 4.0 bpg

On Saint Mary’s
Saint Mary’s is coming off a disappointing 80-91 loss at Pacific with a 16-4 record and 6-3 in WCC action. The league mark puts the Gaels in a two-way tie with BYU for third place entering this week’s action.

The Gaels have four players scoring in double digits led by 22.7 points from Jackie Nared. She’s followed by Danielle Mauldin who puts in 17.9 points. Lauren Nicholson is next contributing 13.1 points with teammate Kate Gaze rounding out the double figure scoring with 12.6 points.

Saint Mary’s currently has a 10-0 record at home. They are averaging 80.0 points per game and pulling down 42.8 rebounds per contest.

• Head coach: Paul Thomas (Wayne State, 1986) 8th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #3 Jackie Nared, 22.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #54 Danielle Mauldin, 13.8 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #10 Kate Gaze, 5.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #54 D. Mauldin, 2.0 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #54 D. Mauldin, 1.3 bpg

Series History
The series is tied at 3-3. When playing in Moraga, BYU is 0-2.

Last Meeting
In the first meeting between these two league foes on Jan. 4 in Provo, Lexi Eaton pushed BYU to a 69-67-overtime victory. She ended the game with 19 points, including the game-winning layup, and 10 rebounds to pick up her first career double-double. Jennifer Hamson also finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 boards while Kylie Maeda scored a career-high 14 points, going a perfect 4 for 4 from 3-point land.

The Cougars held the Gaels to just 26 percent shooting on the night while they shot 48 percent. There were a total of 11 ties and 10 lead changes during the game. It was BYU’s third game to go into overtime this season.

What’s Next
After the game at Saint Mary’s the Cougar team travels to Stockton to battle first-year member Pacific on Sat., Feb. 1 in a 2 p.m. PST tip off. Fans can follow the action live on BYU Radio.

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