(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
After an 81-77 home win over in-state rival Utah State, the Cougar women’s basketball team (4-4) prepares for its next rivalry game. BYU travels to Salt Lake City to battle Utah (7-0) on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., in the Deseret First Duel matchup between the two schools.
Fans can follow the action on BYU Radio (Satellite Sirius XM 143)
The game at the Huntsman Center will be BYU’s sixth road contest of the year. Its record when playing away from home is 2-3 to date. A win at Utah would not only give BYU three points in the Desert First Duel, but would also give the Cougars a sweep playing in-state schools this year. They defeated Weber State 80-55 and Utah State 81-77.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ’78), enters his 12th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #5 Jennifer Hamson, 23.0 ppg*
• Team’s leading rebounder: #5 Hamson, 14.0 rpg*
• Team’s assist leader: #33 Haley Steed, 8.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #33 Steed, 2.4 spg
*Not available until volleyball season is over
BYU’S PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
33 Haley Steed – (5-4 guard, GS) 7.5 ppg; 3.6 rpg; 8.0 apg
#4 Kim Parker Beeston – (5-11 guard, Jr) 11.0 ppg; 4.8 rpg; 2.1 apg
#11 Xojian Harry – (5-10 guard, So) 3.6 ppg; 1.0 rpg; 0.5 apg
#41 Morgan Bailey – (6-2 forward, So) 9.0 ppg; 5.9 rpg; 0.8 apg
#45 Keilani Unga – (6-2 forward, Sr) 6.6 ppg; 4.6 rpg; 0.8 apg
• Sophomore guard Lexi Eaton suffered a season-ending ACL injury to her right knee during the home game vs. Utah State. She will not return to play this year. Eaton has scored in double figures in the first eight games of the season.
• Sophomore guard Stephanie Rovetti suffered a cartilage injury to her left knee in a team practice. She will not be able to play this season.
The University of Utah enters the week with a perfect 7-0 record with its latest win, a one-point, 62-61 victory at Hawai’i. The Utes return four starters from last year’s team that compiled a 16-16, 8-10 record finishing tied for seventh place in the Pac-12.
• Head coach: Anthony Levrets is in his third year at Utah
• Team’s leading scorer: #15 Michelle Plouffe, 17.4 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #11 Taryn Wicijowski, 17.1 rpg
• Team’s assist leader: #3 Iwalani Rodrigues, 3.3 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #15 Plouffe, 2,4 spg
Utah leads the series 61-39
When playing in Salt Lake City the Cougars are 10-30
Head coach Jeff Judkins is 11-15 against the Utes
In last year’s Deseret First Duel played in Provo on Dec. 10, 2011, the Cougars picked up the 63-58 home win led by Stephanie Vermunt who came off the bench to score a team-best 14 points, all from 3-point range. Haley Steed and Dani Peterson also recorded double figures in points with 12 and 10 respectively. Steed also topped the team in rebounds and in assists grabbing nine boards and eight assists. BYU shot 42 percent from the field, 40 percent from behind the arc and 73 percent at the free throw line.
For Utah, Michelle Plouffe led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Senior Janita Badon contributed 10 points and five assists. The Utes shot 39 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 67 percent from the charity stripe.
After Saturday’s game at Utah, the Cougar women return home for the next five games. They begin the homestand hosting Tulsa on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m., followed by a visit from UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. Both games are scheduled to air live on BYUtv.