Cougars lose tough battle against San Diego
SAN DIEGO – Strong bench contribution was not enough to push BYU women’s basketball past San Diego on the road, as it fell 69-59 Saturday afternoon.
“We saw a lot of fight in some of our kids," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "I thought that Alohi, Cassie and Savannah played really well. I thought we could have won the game, but it hurt to not have Morgan for three-quarters of the game. We will bounce back from this and move forward."
Lexi Eaton led BYU in scoring with 24, including going 9 of 12 from the charity stripe. She also had six rebounds and five assists. In the first half, Morgan Bailey had six points and five rebounds in 10 minutes of action. Kylie Maeda had seven points and three assists for the game. Alohi Robins-Hardy led the bench scorers with a career-high eight points. The Cougars outscored the Toreros 18-15 in bench points in the game.
A 3-pointer from Maeda got the scoring started for BYU (19-8, 11-5 West Coast Conference) to take the early lead over San Diego (21-5, 12-4 WCC). Behind four points from Bailey, the Cougars went on an 8-0 run over six minutes to go up 13-5 with 12:34 left in the half.
With six and a half minutes remaining, Bailey went down with an ankle injury after battling for a rebound. She would not return for the rest of the game.
The Toreros went on a 6-0 run over four minutes to get within four points of the Cougars’ lead, 15-11. Eaton made a couple of free throws to extend the lead, but San Diego went on another 6-0 run to tie the game at 17-17 with 3:42 remaining before the intermission.
Micaelee Orton and Robins-Hardy made key buckets in the last few minutes of the half to get back up by five, but the Toreros came back to tie it at 22 apiece with 48 seconds left. The game would remain tied 22-22 going into the half.
Makenzi Morrison scored the first bucket of the second half, but San Diego would go on a 12-1 run to follow to get the largest lead of the game at this point, 34-25. BYU was held scoreless for four and a half minutes. Savannah Irwin broke the Cougars’ scoring drought with a jump shot off the glass with 13:58 left. BYU then went on a 5-0 run, which included three points from Eaton, to get within four points, 36-32.
After a 7-0 Torero run with 10:44 remaining, Irwin posted up for a bucket and a career high in points. San Diego would go on another run after that, this one a 7-2 run, to extend its lead to 52-38 with nine minutes left in the game.
The two teams started trading buckets, but BYU was not able to get a defensive stop to spark a run. Eaton nailed a 3-pointer with 5:45 left to get the Toreros’ lead to single digits, but they continued to hold the Cougars at a distance.
Another trey, this time from Robins-Hardy, cut the lead to nine again, but San Diego got back up 65-54 with 1:47 remaining. The Toreros would score four more points to get the 69-59 victory.
BYU will return home next week with its last two regular-season games. The Cougars will play Portland on Thursday at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143. Live stats will also be available on the BYU women's basketball game schedule page.
BYU is averaging 2.1 blocks per game. In the first half at San Diego, they had six and finished the contest with nine, the most of the year.
The Cougars had 18 rebounds in the first half compared with 24 for the Toreros. BYU was outrebounded by the Toreros 49 to 29.
For the game, BYU dished out 12 assists to USD’s 16, making it just the fourth time of the year that an opponent has tallied more assists.
With the 10-point, 59-69 loss at San Diego, the Cougars dropped their third-straight game for the first time this year.
The Cougars got 18 points from their bench, compared with 12 points for the Toreros bench.
Eaton had four points, three rebounds and two assists in the first half of action. She finished with a team-best 24 points for her 25th game scoring in double digits and the 14th with 20-plus points. Eaton pulled down a team-high six rebounds and dished out a team-best five assists.
Maeda recorded a career high in blocks with two. Maeda also scored seven points, grabbed two rebounds and dished out three assists.
Morrison had two points and two blocks in the first 20 minutes of action. She finished the game with four points and a career- and team-high three blocks.
Robins-Hardy picked up a career high in points with eight, including going 2 of 4 from 3-point range.
Irwin recorded a career high in points with four coming off the bench while playing six minutes.
Wayment tied her career high in points with four while playing four minutes off the bench.
Despite coming back from an 11-point deficit to tie the game with under two minutes remaining, the BYU women’s…