Guards Lead BYU Into WNIT Second Round
CORVALLIS -- Sophomore All-American Erin Thorn scored 21 points and junior point guard Stacy Jensen added 19 as BYU beat Oregon State, 78-63, to advance to the second round of the women's National Invitational Tournament. With the win, the Cougars improve to 19-12 overall on the year, while the Beavers end their season at 16-13.
BYU came out shooting in the first half, especially from beyond the three-point arc. The Cougars made more threes than twos, connecting on 8-of-9 attempts from beyond the three-point line for a blistering 89 percent in the first period of play. BYU went 15-21 from the field overall in the first half (71.4 percent) to take a 41-29 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Cougars built their lead up to as much as 22 points, hitting 50 percent on 10-of-20 shooting for the final period of play. Thorn finished the game shooting 7-for-15 from the field, including 4-of-8 three pointers. Jensen made 5-of-6 field goals, missing just one three on the night to go 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. In addition to the strong guard play, sophomore forward Heather Cheesman came off the bench and hit 3-of-3 from deep to account for the remainder of BYU's 11 threes.
"We had a great team effort tonight out of everybody," said BYU coach Trent Shippen. "Our shooting was great, but we also played tremendous team defense."
In addition to their hot shooting, the Cougars managed to contain one of Oregon State's most potent offensive weapons. Felicia Ragland, the Pac 10 Player of the Year, averaged over 20 points per game during the regular season. But the BYU defense held Ragland to just 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field.
By defeating the Beavers, BYU recorded its first post-season win in Shippen's four years at the helm. The Cougars move on to face the University of Hawaii in the second round. The game will be played Monday night at 7:00 p.m. in Honolulu (10:00 p.m. Mountain time), and fans can follow the action live on the internet at www.uhathletics.hawaii.edu