Women win big in third game on Spain tour

BILBAO, Spain — In the third game of their four-game tour through Spain, the BYU women’s basketball team picked up a 69-50 victory over Euskadi, the Basque National Team (EUS). This was the second game the two teams played. The Cougars defeated EUS on Thursday night, 55-52 in San Sebastian.

Blog #7 details the team's activities for the day.

In her first start on the tour, Makenzi Morrison tied for team highs in points (13) with teammate Morgan Bailey. Alohi Robins-Hardy also finished in double digits in scoring with 11. Bailey had game highs in rebounds with eight while Robins-Hardy pulled down five boards. Morrison tied for team bests in assists with three. Cassie Broadhead was the other Cougar player with three assists to go along with her two points and one rebound.

BYU took control of the game from the opening tip and never looked back, up by as many as 17, 42-25, with seven minutes left in the third of four 10-minute quarters.

“We really did a good job defensively in tonight’s game and we are seeing that a lot of the girls have gotten better in each game and that’s why we’re here,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said.

“It was good to see Xojian have a good game and get her confidence back. Makenzi slowed down and played with a lot more control, Kristine (Fuller) played a lot better tonight, Alohi had another good game and so did Cassie,” Judkins added.

Bailey scored the first two points of the game for a 2-0 Cougar lead. Lexi Eaton would extend the lead to 7-0 by scoring the next two times down the court. EUS got its first points of the game on a layup by Amaya Gastaminza with 6:51 left in the first 10-minute period. The Cougars would go on an 18-4 run to close out the quarter up 20-9. Bailey had 10 of her 13 total points in the first quarter.

EUS fought back in the second quarter when a 3-pointer from Naiara Diez cut the Cougar lead to five, 20-15, with seven minutes left. A basket by Arrate Agirre would get them within three, 22-19, with 5:45 remaining. But BYU’s Alohi Robins-Hardy made sure that that was as close as the EUS team would get all night by scoring the next four Cougar points, including a put-back with 3:54 showing on the clock.

With 2:20 left before the break, Morrison had back-to-back baskets, including a spin-around move underneath the basket that created a buzz from the fans in attendance and a 31-21 Cougar lead. A basket by Kristine Fuller with a minute left gave BYU a 10-point advantage, 33-23. A steal from Morrison on EUS’s final possession of the second quarter would turn into two more points for her and sent BYU to the locker room up 35-23.

Bailey would start the third quarter on a three-point play, extending the Cougar lead to 13, 38-23. BYU would go up by 17, 42-25 with seven minutes left. Gastaminza would score 12 of her 14 team-high points in the third quarter as she and teammate Maria Asurmendi were the only two players for EUS to score.

In the fourth and final 10-minute quarter the Cougar squad maintained its lead, providing several players valuable minutes of playing time. Robins-Hardy scored her final five points in the last quarter with back-to-back baskets that gave BYU a 58-45 advantage with just over seven minutes left in the contest.

With five minutes remaining, Morrison got a steal and took the ball the length of the court for an easy layup bringing the score to 64-45, a 19-point Cougar lead.

The Cougar women will conclude their 10-day, four-game tour with a Monday night game versus Basquet Femeni Saint Adria from Barcelona, Spain.