Jennifer Hamson had a season-high 16 points against Santa Clara.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—A tight road game ended in the ninth-straight win for the No. 23 BYU women’s basketball team, which overcame a second-half deficit to take down Santa Clara, 74-64, Saturday afternoon.
BYU continues its domination in conference play with an 8-1 league record. The win increased the team’s overall record to 20-3, giving head coach Jeff Judkins his sixth season with 20 or more wins. Santa Clara dropped to 8-13 overall and 1-7 in conference.
“I think every coach when the season starts wants to get 20 wins,” Judkins said. “It’s something you aim for. But I’ve got great players who believe in the system, who believe in each other and believe in me. Tonight was a great example of that. Santa Clara played probably its best game of year, but these kids stuck together and believed in each other.”
Kristen Riley’s career-high four 3-pointers led to 17 points on the game. Riley claimed her second double-double in a row with 11 rebounds. Four more Cougars hit double figures in points, with Jennifer Hamson setting a season high of 16 off the bench, Dani Peterson taking 11 points and true freshman Lexi Eaton and sophomore Kim Parker earning 10 apiece. Hamson also had eight rebounds.
BYU outrebounded Santa Clara 43-32 and forced 16 turnovers.
Santa Clara ran away with the lead after four lead changes in the first four minutes. A 10-0 Bronco run set BYU back 15-8 before Peterson ended the draught on a free throw. Riley threw down the Cougars’ first 3 of the game to cut the score to 18-14. Vermunt followed with her own trey, setting up Eaton to take the lead back for the Cougars on a coast-to-coast layup.
The teams batted the lead back and forth as they exchanged baskets through the rest of the half. Back-to-back Santa Clara jumpers put the Broncos on top by three with seven seconds on the clock. A last-second attempt by the Cougars to tie the score proved fruitless and the score stayed at 39-36 for Santa Clara to end the half.
Riley’s three 3-pointers led the game at the half, adding up to 11 points with her single jumper.
Peterson tied the game at 44 as she entered double figures in scoring. Santa Clara answered with a 6-0 run before BYU got back in the game with its own 6-0 scoring streak.
Bronco Meagan Fulps proved a challenge for the Cougars as they struggled to get back on top. Fulps recorded 24 points on 100 percent shooting before her first missed basket with only 5:42 left in the game.
Steed’s deep 3-pointer, part of a 9-1 run, gave BYU a five-point lead with 1:22 to play and the Cougars finished out the game with six free throws.
“We kind of had a lot of size advantage in the game and my teammates were good to get me the ball inside,” Hamson said. “We’re really proud of [our success]. It’s not just one person who makes this team great and I love that about us.”
The Cougars are back on the road next week for a showdown with Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif. Thursday at 7 p.m. PST.
With the 74-64 road victory at Santa Clara, head coach Jeff Judkins picks up his sixth 20-win season and the third straight.
For the first time on the season, BYU had five players scoring in double figures: Riley (17), Hamson (16), Peterson (11), Parker (10), Eaton (10).
The Cougars outrebounded the Broncos 43 to 32 improving their record to 14-1 on the year when they grab more rebounds than their opponents.
Kristen Riley tallied her second-straight double-double at Santa Clara with her 17 points and 11 rebounds. The double-double is the fifth of the year and the ninth overall. She also had a career-high four 3-pointers. The 17 points are her 10th double-figure outing of the year and the 37th overall.
Dani Peterson picked up her seventh double-figure game of the season in points with 11, which is also her 11th career double-digit outing.
Sophomore center Jennifer Hamson came off the bench to record a season-high 16 points while also grabbing eight rebounds, two blocks and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
Kim Parker was the fourth of five player in double figures for the Cougars with 10 while going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. The points are Parker’s 15th double-figure game on the season, the 20th overall and the third straight.
Lexi Eaton scored 10 points for her eighth-straight WCC game putting up double digits in scoring.