Women Win Conference Opener Against Air Force

Shawnee Slade and Dani Wright lead BYU with 13 points each. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Behind the 13 point effort of forward Shawnee Slade and center Dani Wright, BYU (10-4, 1-0) beat Air Force (4-9, 0-2) 59-46. BYU trailed only twice and never by more than three, while the Cougars lead by as much as 15 in their win over the Falcons. Slade lead the team with a game high four steals, and Wright had two blocks.

"It was a really ugly game, but we played a really good defensive game especially in the second half," BYU women's basketball head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We did a good job of confusing them in the second half."

Melinda Johnsen started the game with a driving layup to put the Cougars up 2-0 with 16:50 to go in the first half. The Falcons came right back and took a 4-2 lead over the Cougars. Slade had the answer with a jumper and then a three pointer at the 13:56 mark to put the Cougars up 7-6. Slade hit another jumper to give BYU a 9-6 lead at the 12:44 mark. Air Force answered with a layup of its own, but Slade continued her streak with another jumper giving the Cougars an 11-8 lead. Air Force pulled to within one, but senior guard Jennie Keele made a three pointer to push the lead back to four with 10:36 left in the half. Dani Wright added to the cause with three layups in one minute. Wright also helped with her defense by blocking a shot at the 7:11 mark to solidify the Cougars lead 20-14.

Air Force forward, Alecia Steele gave the Falcons a boost with her hustle and scoring, she cut the lead down to three with a basket and free throw with seven minutes left in the half. Steele scored again before Lauren Riley got her first basket to put BYU back up by three, 22-19. Riley hit a free throw and a layup to push BYU to a three-point lead with just over a minute left in the half. The Cougars finished the half 26-23, due in part to a block by Cassie King with 54 seconds left.

The Falcons shot 37 percent from the field in the first half only to shoot 35 percent from the field in the second half. The Cougars shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and 38 percent from the field in the second half. BYU led Air Force in points in the paint, bench points and second chance points.

In the second half, Steele came out shooting and gave the Falcons their first lead of the game since the early minutes at 29-26. BYU came back and answered with baskets by Wright, then Riley, to tie up the game at 30 a piece with 16:18 left in the game. Keele lifted the Cougars to a four-point lead with a free throw and three pointer with just under 15 minutes to go in the contest, 34-30. Less than a minute later, Slade made a basket to put BYU up 36-30.

"Shawnee (Slade) played well tonight and it was good to see Mallary (Gillespie) take some shots again," Judkins said.

After a four-minute drought, Falcon forward Pamela Findlay made a pair of free throws. Melinda Johnsen answered immediately with a three pointer to make it 39-32 BYU with just under 13 minutes left. Air Force battled back for three more points before Keele made a free throw to put the Cougars up 43-37 with 8:48 remaining.

Johnsen had two assists back to back. She set up King for a layup and then Gillespie for a three pointer with just over three minutes left in the game. The Cougars continued to roll as Slade hit another layin, Gillespie hit a free throw and Johnsen hit a free throw, putting BYU up 59-44 with less than two minutes left. Air Force put in another basket to finish the game at 59-46 Cougars.

BYU had three players in double digits (Slade 13, Wright 13 and Keele 10). Keele not only contributed with points but she dished out a game-high five assists, had two steals and one block. Gillespie had seven points and three assists. Alecia Steele was the game-high scorer with 16 points for the Falcons. She also had the most rebounds with 14.

BYU women's basketball continues on the road with a game at New Mexico, Wednesday, January 10. Then they return home to host Wyoming a 2:00 p.m. in the Marriott Center, Saturday, January 13.

Official Basketball Box Score

BYU vs Air Force

1/6/07 4:00 p.m. at USAFA, Colo. (Clune Arena)

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VISITORS: BYU 10-4, 1-0

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

35 JOHNSEN, Melinda.... f 2-2 1-1 1-1 0 2 2 3 6 2 2 0 1 39

45 WRIGHT, Dani........ c 6-8 0-0 1-3 2 1 3 5 13 0 6 2 1 19

52 RILEY, Lauren....... c 3-7 0-0 2-6 4 7 11 4 8 1 2 2 1 28

15 KEELE, Jennie....... g 3-5 2-4 2-5 1 2 3 2 10 5 1 1 2 32

30 GILLESPIE, Mallary.. g 2-11 1-7 2-3 0 1 1 3 7 3 3 0 0 30

05 CHEESMAN, Ashley.... 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 8

13 JUDKINS, Jaime...... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

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

32 SLADE, Shawnee...... 6-12 1-4 0-2 1 2 3 1 13 3 2 1 4 30

54 KING, Cassie........ 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 0 8

TEAM................ 1 4 5

Totals.............. 23-52 5-18 8-20 10 21 31 20 59 15 17 7 9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-21 52.4% 2nd Half: 12-31 38.7% Game: 44.2% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-6 33.3% 2nd Half: 3-12 25.0% Game: 27.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-5 40.0% 2nd Half: 6-15 40.0% Game: 40.0% 3

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HOME TEAM: Air Force 4-9, 0-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

30 FINDLAY, Pamela..... f 2-7 1-2 4-4 1 2 3 3 9 1 3 0 2 36

32 STEELE, Alecia...... f 7-11 0-0 2-3 2 12 14 5 16 0 4 0 2 33

44 NOVAK, Jacki........ c 3-4 0-0 2-4 0 2 2 3 8 1 2 0 0 26

04 CASTILLO, Letricia.. g 0-4 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 2 1 0 0 31

22 DAVIS, Jamie........ g 0-3 0-0 2-2 1 2 3 1 2 0 3 0 0 10

12 GLADYSZ, Kory....... 0-1 0-1 2-3 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 5

24 TAYLOR, Andrea...... 1-5 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 0 1 13

31 JONES, Chasmine..... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 5

34 CULTRA, Brooke...... 1-3 0-0 2-2 1 0 1 3 4 2 4 0 1 27

35 LOVELESS, Dana...... 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 7

43 KREKE, Kim.......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 7

TEAM................ 1 5 6 2

Totals.............. 15-41 1-7 15-20 8 28 36 20 46 7 25 0 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-24 37.5% 2nd Half: 6-17 35.3% Game: 36.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-2 0.0% 2nd Half: 1-5 20.0% Game: 14.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-5 100 % 2nd Half: 10-15 66.7% Game: 75.0% 2

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Officials: Debbie Adams, Ernest Solis, Carla Fujimoto

Technical fouls: BYU-TEAM. Air Force-None.

Attendance: 417

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 26 33 - 59

Air Force..................... 23 23 - 46

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Tags: Results