Junior guard Mindy Nielson is one of three returning starters on the 2009-10 BYU squad (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah (Nov. 3, 2009) Gearing up for the start of the 2009-10 basketball season, the BYU women’s basketball team will play two exhibition games this week.
The Cougars host nearby Westminster College on Fri., Nov. 6 and Chadron State on Sat. Nov. 7. Tip off for the games are 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively.
Three starters and 12 letterwinners return to the court for BYU this year looking to continue the tradition of winning seasons and advancing further in both the MWC tournament and in the NCAA’s.
The three starters back, all juniors, are 5-10 guard Mindy Nielson (10.4 ppg; 3.9 rpg), 5-5 point guard Jazmine Foreman (6.8 ppg; 4.0 rpg) and 6-2 forward Keilani Moeaki (5.3 ppg; 2.8 rpg). Nielson returns as the team’s scoring leader while Foreman tops the team in assists.
Junior point guard Haley Hall is also back for the 2009-10 campaign after her third straight season ending ACL injury. Hall played in the first game last year at Portland State where she tallied 11 points including going 6-6 from the free throw line before suffering the knee injury.
Part of the team’s success from last season was due to the depth of the Cougar squad. That bench strength came from the consistent play of Coriann Wood (6.4 ppg; 4.8 rpg), Kristen Riley (3.3 ppg; 3.6 rpg), Stephanie Buhler Bates (2.4 ppg; 0.2 rpg), Dani Peterson (2.0 ppg; 1.5 rpg), and Megan Marks Leach (1.4 ppg; 1.6 rpg).
Jaime Judkins is the lone senior on the squad. She played an average of 5.1 minutes in 19 games. She along with freshman Jenteal Jackson, came off the bench for the Cougars with Jackson playing in a total of 25 contests while junior guard Marie Beck saw action in three games last year.
Three talented freshmen will join the team this season led by Alexis Kaufusi who prepped at Timpview High School and redshirted last year. Utah standout Kim Parker from Heber City and Wasatch High School, and Stephanie Vermunt from Airdrie, Alberta, Canada and Bert Church High School round out the freshman class.
After the two exhibition games, the Cougar team opens up its nonconference schedule hosting Utah Valley University on Friday, Nov. 13 at 3:30 p.m. The team then plays its next three games on the road at Washington, Montana State and Southern Utah before returning to the Marriott Center for a game against Kansas State on Nov. 27.