Morrison nets career high in rout of UNLV
PROVO, Utah – Makenzi Morrison scored 15 first-half points en route to a career-high, as BYU beat UNLV 76-61 on “Throwback Thursday” in the Smith Fieldhouse.
"I thought we played a really nice game tonight," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Our starters came out and gave us a great lift to start the game. We weren't very good for the first five minutes, but we made some adjustments and did a really good job defensively."
Morrison, who finished with a career-high 17 points, wasn't the only Cougar who had a career night. Ashley Garfield recorded her second career double-double, with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Morgan Bailey recorded her 10th double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. Kylie Maeda tallied a career-high eight assists and Lexi Eaton led BYU scorers with 19 points.
BYU (4-3) has now won three of its last four and improved to 16-2 at home against former Mountain West Conference foe UNLV (3-4).
After a four-point deficit through five minutes, BYU scored eight straight to take a 18-14 lead. Garfield scored on two field goals during the run and assisted on another.
BYU extended its lead to nine points with six minutes left in the half, as Morrison scored on consecutive possessions to give her team a 30-21 lead. Minutes later, Morrison completed a three-point play to give the Cougars their first double-digit lead of the game at 35-23.
After hitting two free throws, Maeda rebounded a Rebel shot with under a minute left and threw a pass over the top of the UNLV defense to a streaking Morrison, who finished with a layup to give BYU its 39-25 halftime lead.
Garfield dominated the boards in the first half, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The senior finished the half with eight points and nine rebounds. Morrison led all scorers with 15 first-half points.
The Cougars opened up the second half with a 10-0 run behind six points from Eaton. During the run, Eaton eclipsed 10 points for the fourth game in a row.
Later, an 8-0 run gave the Cougars a 62-33 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the second half. Again, Eaton accounted for six points during the run.
In the remaining time, Judkins took advantage of his team's big lead, clearing the Cougar bench. Fourteen players appeared in the game as BYU coasted to a 76-61 win.
BYU next takes on Colorado State at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City Saturday at noon MST.
The 76-61 win over UNLV moves BYU to 2-0 against Mountain West Conference opponents this season. The Cougars have two more games against Mountain West teams this season with Colorado State on Saturday and Utah State Dec. 22.
The win on Elaine Michaelis Court was the first game in the Smith Fieldhouse since the 2006-07 season when BYU women’s basketball beat Cal State Northridge 55-48 on Dec. 9. The Cougars are now 51-16 overall in the Smith Fieldhouse.
BYU’s 47 rebounds led to a plus-12 difference in the game, tying the second-highest margin this season. They are 4-0 when outrebounding the opponent.
The win saw four players score in double-figures for the second time this season.
Lexi Eaton reached double-figures for the fifth time this season, leading all scorers with 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field while pulling down six rebounds.
Makenzi Morrison shot 7-of-16 en route to a career-high 17 points, reaching double-digits for the fourth-consecutive game.
Morgan Bailey recorded her second double-double of the season and 10th of her career with 12 points and 11 rebounds on just 5-of-6 shooting while finding her teammates for four assists.
Ashley Garfield notched her second-career double-double and first of the season with 10 points and a season-high 15 rebounds including eight offensive. She had nine boards in the first half.
Kylie Maeda dished out a career-high eight assists of the team-total 19.
Sophomore guard Nani Falatea had a career-high 27 points and six 3-pointers but the BYU women’s basketball team…