SALT LAKE CITY -- Overcoming an 18-point deficit, Creighton narrowly topped the BYU women’s basketball team 65-62 in the final seconds of overtime Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena.
After a 16-point BYU (3-4) lead entering the second half, Creighton (3-2) hit six 3-pointers to cut the Cougars’ advantage to five with 3:10 to play in regulation. A layup and three-point play tied the contest at 54 with just over two minutes to go. BYU’s Xojian Harry knocked in a jumper, but the Bluejays followed with a layup for a 56-56 tie. Neither team managed to score in the last 20 seconds to send the game into overtime.
The overtime period featured more back-and-forth scoring, with each team taking the lead at some point. Lexi Eaton was perfect from the charity stripe for a 61-59 BYU advantage with 2:05 remaining. After another tie game, Creighton’s Sarah Nelson sunk the game-winning 3-pointer with 19 seconds left. Eaton and the Bluejays exchanged a free throw to end the game, 65-62.
Eaton scored a team-high 18 points and team-high nine boards. Eaton has scored in double figures in every game this season. Keilani Unga joined Eaton in double-digits with 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Haley Steed added a game-high 12 assists and eight rebounds.
The Cougars got off to a quick start with Stephanie Seaborn nailing a shot beyond the arc to take an 11-4 BYU lead with 15:06 to play in the first half. BYU and Creighton exchanged multiple buckets before Kim Parker Beeston sunk back-to-back treys at the nine-minute mark to move the Cougars in front, 22-13.
Steed found Unga open downcourt for her first of two shots under the basket to extend BYU’s lead to 28-13 during an 11-0 run. The assist was Steed’s eighth of the game after only 11 minutes of play.
The Bluejays ended their scoring drought with 4:45 before the break with two layups to move the score to 32-17. Beating the shot clock with a corner 3-pointer, Kylie Maeda gave the Cougars an 18-point advantage, its largest of the game. Creighton managed a jump shot to enter halftime down 35-19.
Next on the docket for the Cougars are two in-state schools. BYU hosts Utah State Tuesday at 7 p.m. MST before traveling to Salt Lake City Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. MST to take on Utah.
BYU’s largest lead of the game came with 2:18 left in the first half when the Cougars led 35-17, helped out by an 11-0 BYU run. Creighton didn’t lead until overtime after tying the game up 56-56 with 20 seconds left.
BYU outrebounded Creighton 48-44. The Cougars also led in assists 19-12. The Creighton bench outscored BYU’s 32-12 and had 15 turnovers to the Cougars’ 22.
Lexi Eaton led the Cougars with 18 points, her seventh double-figure outing this season and 26th of her career. She shot 43 percent from the field and had nine rebounds.
Keilani Unga recorded 11 points, her second double-figure outing this season, and had eight rebounds.
Haley Steed had 12 assists to set a new season high and had six rebounds, also a season high. With one steal during the game, Steed tied Erin Thorn for No. 5 in BYU history for career steals with 236 total.
Xojian Harry tied her career high and set a new season high with three steals.