Morrison propels BYU over Butler to begin invitational
LAIE, Hawaii – Makenzi Morrison led BYU women's basketball to an 81-62 win against Butler Wednesday to begin play in the Tom Weston Invitational.
"We played a really balanced game today, and that's what we wanted to see," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Ashley (Garfield) played well for us and it was good to see Kylie (Maeda) shoot the ball better today. Makenzi came in and gave us a huge lift in the second half."
Morrison led the Cougars with a career-high 16 points from 6 of 9 shooting, including 4 of 6 treys. Morgan Bailey had a team-high eight rebounds to go along with 14 points for a near double-double. Kylie Maeda led the team in assists with six while also contributing a season-high 13 points. Lexi Eaton rounded out the double-digit scoring, adding 14 and five rebounds.
BYU (2-2) outrebounded the Bulldogs 38-26 and had a 24-10 assist advantage. Additionally, the Cougars shot 55 percent from the floor compared to just 37 percent for Butler (0-5).
Butler got the first points of the game off a 3-pointer, but BYU came storming back with a put-back jumper from Ashley Garfield to make the score 3-2. The two teams traded points from there until Eaton hit her first 3-pointer of the game at the 15:30 mark to give the Cougars a four-point edge, 13-9.
The Bulldogs were undeterred, however, as Butler's Loryn Goodwin scored consecutive buckets to put her team back up by two at 15-13 with 12:43 left to play in the half. BYU ensued with a 14-0 run, led by 3-pointers from Maeda and Morrison, to help the Cougars retake the lead with a 12-point advantage at 27-15.
Both sides went back-and-forth in scoring for the rest of the half. Garfield hit a 3-pointer with six seconds left to give BYU its largest lead to that point, 41-26, at the intermission.
Bailey got things started again for the Cougars to begin the second half, scoring on a jump shot to extend BYU's advantage to 17 at 43-26. A few buckets later, Morrison drained a pair of shots from beyond-the-arc to put the Cougars up 53-31, forcing Butler to take a timeout with 16:20 left in the game.
A pair of Eaton buckets then extended BYU's lead past the 30-point mark at 65-33 with 14:06 left. With the advantage, the Cougars were then able to give playing time to those who get lesser minutes.
The Bulldogs began to bridge the gap with an 8-2 rally that was quickly stopped by a Xojian Harry shot with 6:24 left, making the score 75-50. Butler slowly brought itself within 16 at 77-61 with 2:36 left, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get as BYU took the game 81-62.
The Cougars continue play in the Tom Weston Invitational Thursday when they face off against BYU-Hawaii at 1 p.m. HST. Links to live stats can be found on the BYU women's basketball schedule page.
At halftime, BYU had two players scoring in double digits with Kylie Maeda (11) and Morgan Bailey (10). The team would finish the game with four players in double figures, a first on the year. Makenzi Morrison led the Cougar effort with 16 points, followed by 14 apiece from Bailey and Lexi Eaton. Maeda finished with 13.
The Cougars pulled down 20 rebounds in the first half of action while the Bulldogs had 14. BYU would outrebound Butler 38 to 26. They would also dish out more assists with 24 compared to 10 for the Bulldogs. Butler did record three more steals than BYU, eight to five.
Makenzi Morrison tied for game highs in points with 16. The total in points were season and career bests.
Kylie Maeda finished the game with season bests in points (13) and assists (6). The assists were also game highs.
Morgan Bailey tallied 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds in the win over the Bulldogs. Bailey has now recorded double digits in points in all games to date.
For the second-straight time on the year, Lexi Eaton recorded double figures in points. She finished the game with 14 along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Sophomore guard Nani Falatea had a career-high 27 points and six 3-pointers but the BYU women’s basketball team…