Playing with the season on the line for the third time in six days, the BYU women’s basketball team fell to the USC Trojans in the third round of the WNIT 62-50 on Mar. 23, 2011. The loss ended the second-straight year the Cougar squad had an impressive run in the postseason WNIT. In both seasons they were the automatic qualifiers representing the Mountain West Conference.
BYU advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with home victories over the University of Denver, 75-60, and a huge 102-63 decision over in-state rival Utah State on Mar. 19. In the three games, the Cougars outscored their opponents 227 to 185 and had at least three players put up double figures in scoring in each contest. Against Utah State, six Cougars reached double figures in scoring.
As the automatic qualifier from the MWC to the 2010 postseason WNIT, the team had an impressive showing advancing to the quarterfinal round (Elite Eight). After a 62-58 home victory over Pepperdine, BYU embarked on a six-day, three-game road trip. In that span, they grabbed a 61-53 victory over ASU and a 67-63 victory against league foe Wyoming in front of a hostile crowd 7,000 strong. Junior Jazmine Foreman had a combined 29 points in the first two road games and was helped out by Coriann Wood with 25 and Haley Hall with 20. The Cougars ended the long trip falling to eventual WNIT champion California.
After compiling a 19-10 run in the regular season, the Cougars faced Gonzaga in the first round of the WNIT on the Bulldogs’ home court. Despite valiant efforts by Julie Sullivan, who totaled 14 points on the night, and Mallary Gillespie, who totaled 10 points, BYU fell 71-57 to Gonzaga. Melinda Johnsen also contributed six rebounds with five assists.
All-American Erin Thorn led the Cougars to a 78-63 defeat of Pac-10 team Oregon State in the first round of the WNIT, scoring 21 points. Thorn was supported by Stacy Jensen, who scored 19 points. BYU scored more three-pointers than field goals in the first half and jumped ahead of the Beavers by as much as 22 points before the end of the game.
From there, the Cougars headed to Honolulu to take on Hawai’i. Jennifer Leitner recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Rainbow Wahine, who took the second-round matchup 77-73 in overtime. Thorn drained a three-pointer with seven seconds left in overtime, bringing the score to 75-73, but a BYU foul put Hawai’i at the free throw line. Two made free throws ended the game with Hawai’i victory. Thorn contributed 16 points and six rebounds and Lisa Osguthorpe scored 12 points in the loss.
The Cougars fell 70-53 to Colorado in the first round of the WNIT, ending the season with a 16-13 overall record and 9-6 conference record. Jill Adams was 6-for-10 with 14 total points, eight rebounds and three assists. Adams was aided by Lori Henry Cuff, who had seven rebounds, four assists and eight points.
BYU faced DePaul in the first round of the 1982 WNIT, pulling off a 72-69 win. Jeanette Weston scored 33 points in the victory and Cindy Battistone had nine rebounds. In the second round, the Cougars fell 75-71 against Florida State despite 22 points from Jackie McBride, 16 points from Valerie Cravens and 25 from Lori Vreeken.
The double-elimination rule put BYU through to the next round, where they defeated Illinois State 78-73. Four Cougars reached double-figures in scoring, with McBride in the lead at 23 points. Cravens had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, Weston had 16 points and Vreeken reached 12.