BYU women open 2020-21 season at South Point Shootout
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball will open its 2020-21 campaign this weekend at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas, Nevada, taking on LSU on Friday, Nov. 27 and Washington on Saturday, Nov. 28. Both games tip off at 6:30 PST and live video stream links are available on byucougars.com.
- Head coach Jeff Judkins enters his 20th season at the helm of the BYU women’s basketball program as the winningest head coach in school history with a career record of 411-194
- The Cougars were picked to finish second in the 2020-21 West Coast Conference Preseason Poll after finishing third in the WCC regular season standings last season. BYU finished the 2019-20 campaign with a 13-5 record in WCC play and 18-11 record overall
- Two-time WCC Defensive Player of the Year Sara Hamson returns for her senior season at the center position after leading the nation in blocked shots (137) and blocked shots per game (4.72) last season. Hamson was a 2020 Naismith Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist. She is one of 20 candidates for this year’s Lisa Leslie Award that recognizes the top center in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball
- Senior guard Paisley Johnson Harding, a 2020 WCC First Team honoree and a two-time Preseason All-WCC Team member, also returns for her senior season
- Redshirt sophomore Shaylee Gonzales returns after being named the 2018-19 Newcomer of the Year, a 2019 WCC First Team honoree and 2019 WCC Championship All-Tournament Team member
- After starting every game last year and averaging 6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest, guard Maria Albiero returns for her senior campaign
- BYU will introduce two standout transfers in Tegan Graham (four years at Colgate) and Kayla Belles-Lee (two years at Michigan State). Redshirt freshmen and Utah natives Lauren Gustin (Salem Hills HS) and Tahlia White (Mountain View HS) will vie for playing time along with redshirt freshman Kyra Beckman (Snohomish, Washington)
- The Cougars bring additional experience to their roster with junior returners Babalu Ugwu and Malli Perri as well as sophomore Kaylee Smiler
- Nikki Fargas begins her 10th season as head coach of the Tigers, compiling a 168-116 record thus far
- LSU is coming off a 20-win 2019-20 campaign, finishing seventh in the SEC regular season standings with an overall record of 20-10
- The Tigers return their 2019-20 scoring and assist leader in senior guard Khayla Pointer, who averaged 14.8 points and 4.8 assists per contest last season. Pointer was named a member of the 2020 All-SEC Second Team.
- Fellow 2020 All-SEC Second Team member and senior center Faustine Aifuwa also returns after leading the team in total rebounds (237) and blocks (63) during the 2019-20 campaign. Faustine was also named a 2020 SEC All-Defensive Team member
- Friday’s matchup will be the first ever between LSU and BYU
- Head coach Jody Wynn enters her fourth season at the helm of the Husky program, posting a 31-61 record at Washington and an overall record of 168-180 in 11 seasons as head coach
- The Huskies finished 10th in the 2019-20 Pac-12 standings after posting a 5-13 record in conference play and a 13-17 record overall
- Washington returns six players who saw game action in 2019-20. Junior forward Haley Van Dyke, who was second on the team with 8.2 points per game, is the leading returning scorer
- Seniors Khayla Rooks and Alexis Griggsby are the most veteran players on this season’s Husky team while junior center Darcy Rees, who was second on the team in 3-point shooting percentage (35.8%) last season, also returns
- Washington holds a 7-5 all-time series advantage against BYU. The two teams’ most recent matchup, which took place in Seattle during the 2017-18 season, resulted in an 80-72 Husky win
Following this weekend's games, BYU remains on the road to take on Dixie State University on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 3 p.m. MST. A live video stream will be available on the WAC Digital Network.