Strong Defense lifts Cougars Past Rams

Dani Wright scored 15 points and had a team-high eight rebounds to lead BYU over Colorado State Thursday night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- A strong defensive effort coupled with three players scoring in double figures led BYU (13-4, 4-0 MWC) to a 69-56 victory over Colorado State (6-11, 1-4 MWC) Thursday night. With the win the Cougars remained undefeated in Mountain West Conference play.

"This was a hard game tonight with everything surrounding CSU," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "I'm really happy. It was a good win."

Both BYU and CSU struggled to find the bottom of the net in the early going. The Rams took a 10-9 lead behind two Sara Hunter three-point buckets. The Cougars responded with a quick five-point outburst to take a four-point advantage.

CSU went up 15-14 with 9:52 left to play in the half after Ashley McFarland got free for a layup. It was the last time the Rams led in the game. The Cougars ripped off an 11-2 run to take control of the game for good.

Mallary Gillespie scored 14 points in the first half behind four three-point shots. BYU shot 55 percent from behind the arc in the first half, while their defense held CSU to just 33 percent shooting from the field to take a 37-27 lead into the locker room.

Their strong defensive effort continued the first part of the second half. The Rams managed only one bucket in the first 3:42 of play.

BYU's post trio of Dani Wright, Lauren Riley and Cassie King took charge to set the tone in the second half. The trio scored the Cougars' first 16 points of the half.

"At half we decided to get the ball inside," Judkins said. "Our post players got the ball in positions where they could score and did."

BYU was never seriously challenged in the half, going up by as many as 24 points after a Brittany Faddis bucket.

CSU mounted a late second-half surge, but it was not enough. BYU came away with the 13-point victory.

Gillespie scored 16 points to lead the Cougars. Joining her in double figures was Wright and Riley with 15 and 12 points, respectively. The Rams' Molly Nohr scored 16 points to match Gillespie for game-high honors. Juanise Cornell chipped in 13 points for CSU.

Wright pulled down eight rebounds to help the Cougars win the battle on the boards at 44-34. BYU improved to 10-1 on the season when outrebounding its opponents.

The Cougars will be back in action Saturday afternoon when they play host to UNLV at 2 p.m. in the Marriott Center.

Official Basketball Box Score

Colorado St. Rams vs BYU COUGARS

01-18-07 7:05 PM at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Colorado St. Rams 6-11, 1-4 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

35 CORNELL, Juanise.... f 6-11 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 1 13 1 3 0 1 31

51 MOULTON, Marilyn.... c 4-13 0-0 1-4 7 4 11 1 9 0 4 1 3 30

20 NOHR, Molly......... g 6-14 1-4 3-4 1 2 3 1 16 2 2 0 0 36

33 MCFARLAND, Ashley... g 0-4 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 3 0 0 1 31

4 HUNTER, Sara........ g 4-12 4-7 0-0 0 3 3 2 12 0 0 0 3 38

12 FRANCE, Justine..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 11

22 FINLEY, Kelly....... 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 1 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 15

42 MASON, Nya.......... 1-3 0-0 2-2 0 2 2 3 4 0 1 0 0 8

TEAM................ 3 6 9

Totals.............. 22-60 5-13 7-13 12 22 34 10 56 8 11 1 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-30 33.3% 2nd Half: 12-30 40.0% Game: 36.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-6 33.3% 2nd Half: 3-7 42.9% Game: 38.5% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-9 55.6% 2nd Half: 2-4 50.0% Game: 53.8% 2

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HOME TEAM: BYU COUGARS 13-4, 4-0 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

45 WRIGHT, Dani........ f 6-11 0-1 3-6 5 3 8 4 15 2 2 0 1 23

52 RILEY, Lauren....... c 6-7 0-0 0-0 2 5 7 1 12 1 0 0 1 22

15 KEELE, Jennie....... g 3-5 0-1 0-0 0 5 5 2 6 3 1 0 0 27

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 4-14 4-8 4-4 0 3 3 0 16 2 0 1 1 29

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... g 1-5 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 9 4 1 1 31

05 CHEESMAN, Ashley.... 1-1 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 1 4 1 1 0 0 12

10 RICE, Kaitln........ 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

13 JUDKINS, Jaime...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 7

22 FADDIS, Brittany.... 2-4 0-2 0-0 2 0 2 0 4 1 1 0 2 7

24 EYESTONE, Erica..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

31 AINA, Rachel........ 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

32 SLADE, Shawnee...... 1-7 1-3 0-0 0 4 4 2 3 2 2 0 0 21

54 KING, Cassie........ 3-5 1-1 0-0 3 3 6 0 7 1 0 1 0 16

TEAM................ 2 3 5

Totals.............. 27-61 6-20 9-12 15 29 44 12 69 22 13 3 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-30 46.7% 2nd Half: 13-31 41.9% Game: 44.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-9 55.6% 2nd Half: 1-11 9.1% Game: 30.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 5-6 83.3% Game: 75.0% 1

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Officials: Michael Price, Ken Sowby, Kent Johnson

Technical fouls: Colorado St. Rams-None. BYU COUGARS-None.

Attendance: 659

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Colorado St. Rams............. 27 29 - 56

BYU COUGARS................... 37 32 - 69

OFFICIAL FINAL

Tags: Results