TULSA, Okla.—Haley Hall Steed led the BYU women’s basketball team to a 64-61 victory against Tulsa Monday night, securing the Cougars’ first win of the season on the Hurricane’s home court.
“It wasn’t a pretty win,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “It was pretty sloppy. We didn’t execute and threw the ball away too many times. When people foul you at end of game, you’ve got to knock them in. But I was really happy how we executed that last play for Haley and I thought Rovetti played a great game. I’m proud of them. We could have got down and lost the game, but we came back for the win.”
Steed tied her career high of 24 points in the contest, also tying her career high of six 3-pointers. Steed was 6-for-12 from beyond the arc. Redshirt freshman Stephanie Rovetti recorded her first double-figure outing with 12 points and Kristen Riley had a career-high 12 rebounds.
BYU (1-1) shot 40.4 percent from the field with 16 assists and outrebounded Tulsa (0-2) 41-38. But the Cougars’ 24 turnovers and 26 fouls caused problems, especially in the second half.
The Cougars got into foul trouble after just seven minutes of play in the first half. Fouls put BYU behind 4-0 to start, but three Cougar 3-pointers launched an 11-0 run to go up 14-7. After three minutes without a BYU field goal, Rovetti hit a jumper from the corner to push the score to 18-13 before Tulsa closed the gap on a fast break layup.
At the 5:07 mark, Morgan Bailey put up a jump shot to increase the lead to 23-20, but Jessica McQuin’s jumper and Kadan Brady’s 3-pointer took the lead back for Tulsa 25-23.
Freshman Lexi Eaton helped the Cougars out with a three-point play after getting fouled on a layup, bringing the Cougars within one at 27-26. Kim Parker’s lay in pushed BYU into the lead once more to close out the half with a 28-26 lead.
Tulsa’s Taylor Hooker opened the second half by taking back the lead on a field goal, only to have the lead recovered for the Cougars on a Steed 3-pointer. Steed pushed BYU to an eight-point lead on two more treys at 16:33 and 15:12.
The Cougars pushed Tulsa into bonus with seven fouls after eight minutes of play.
A Riley assist led to Dani Peterson’s layup for a 49-39 lead at 8:14, BYU’s first double-figure lead of the game. Steed maintained that lead sinking another 3-pointer.
BYU got lucky when Tulsa sent Rovetti to the charity stripe twice to push the Cougars to a 12-point lead. Rovetti threw down a layup for a 59-47 lead as the clock wound down.
Tulsa’s 7-0 run cut the deficit to 57-54 until made free throws from Steed gave BYU another 5-point lead. With two minutes left on the clock, a Hurricane cut the lead to 59-57.
“We need to finish stronger than that,” Steed said. “We can’t let 10-point leads slip away. We’ve got to work on our composure. They threw a press on us there at the end and we struggled to break it.”
The Hurricane tied the game 61-61 on a basket, but Steed’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds on the clock locked in the victory
“It was way too close, but that end play, we stuck with it,” Steed said. “Really, the entire team executed that play just as Coach Judkins wanted it.”
Next up, the Cougars travel to Manhattan, Kan., to take on Kansas State Wednesday at 7 p.m. CST.
BYU vs. Tulsa – Postgame Notes
BYU picks up its first victory of the season with the 64-61 win over Tulsa.
The Cougars outrebounded the Golden Hurricane 41-38 and dished out 16 assists to Tulsa’s eight.
After scoring three points on a trey in the first half, Haley Steed Hall scored nine all from three-point range in the first six minutes of the second half. She also made the winning three-pointer with 10.1 seconds left to give the Cougars their first win of the season. Steed topped the leader board in points for the team and game with a season high 24 that tie her career best in that category. The points are her second straight double figure contest of the year and the 30th in her career.
Stephanie Rovetti came off the bench going 8-10 from the free throw line, finishing with 12 points for her first ever double digit outing of her career.
Kristen Riley led all players in the rebound category grabbing a team and game high 12 rebounds for new career highs.
Kim Parker dished out a team high five assists in the game.