By Meredith Majakey
History repeated itself Thursday night, Nov. 10, as the BYU women”s basketball team overcame the National Women”s Basketball League with a score of 92-72.
Leading the Cougars with 15 points was guard Erin Thorn, and Melanie Pearson and Jennifer Leitner scored 12 points apiece.
Thorn said defense is still in need of improvement.
“Rebounds are huge. They (NWBL) got a lot of offensive boards which turned into a lot of points,” Thorn said. “If we cut down that, we cut down 15-20 points.”
The BYU women”s basketball team led 47-40 at the half, struggling early against the NWBL”s strong inside game and drives to the basket.
BYU called on junior Chanell Rose and Leitner to get the job done.
Rose had a total of eight rebounds, and Leitner pulled down four.
BYU”s inside presence was also a threat with the help of Pearson, Danielle Cheesman and Lisa Hansen.
It was a three-point extravaganza in the first half, led by junior guard Thorn with nine points. Senior Stacy Jensen and Heather Cheesman scored six points off the three-point line, and Leitner and Pearson also scored three points each.
Judkins said he was pleased with the team”s ability to hit the three, but raised concern on getting the ball inside.
“If we”re not hitting them we”re going to have to get the ball inside, and get some things going,” Judkins said. “We”ve got to work on our rotations and back picks.”
Thorn said the team”s strong inside players are instrumental to the team”s success.
“The post can score, and they showed it every time they got the ball,” Thorn said. “We trust them just as much as we trust our three-point shooter.”
The second half opened in full force as BYU charged on the court for battle.
The excitement elevated in the middle of the second half when the Cougars ran on a fast break and bumped their lead to 17.
Jensen was a powerful force in keeping up the fast pace of the game. Jensen had six assists and ten points to finish the night.
“What I think we need to focus on the most is defense,” Jensen said. “We had a breakdown here and there and weren”t aggressive in certain areas, and that cost us. If we work on that and keep our fouls down we”ll be in good shape.”
In the end it was the Cougars” athleticism and strong defense that enabled then to come away for the win.
The Cougars next hit the road to face off against Boise State on Nov. 16 in Boise.