By Rebekah Romney
The women”s basketball team bounced back from its loss to Colorado State by beating Wyoming 81-65 and winning its first conference game.
This puts the Cougars at 10-5 and 1-1 in conference play while the Cowgirls dropped to 7-7 and 0-2 for the conference.
All-American Erin Thorn led the Cougars with 23 points, shooting six three-pointers.
“They played a zone on her, which wasn”t very smart,” coach Jeff Judkins said. “She felt very comfortable in the zone.
Wyoming has played better first halves in its last two games, letting the point margin spread out more toward the end of the games. The score was never more than a six-point difference in the first half Saturday night.
As Thorn became more focused and comfortable, the Cowgirls became increasingly less comfortable, committing seven turnovers in the second half. They were also outscored 46-36 in the last half.
Judkins said the Cougars tried to be more aggressive and open the defensive game in order to cause the turnovers.
The Cougars” aggressiveness also helped them in rebounding. They picked up 34 defensive rebounds while the Cowgirls earned 21.
Junior center Jennifer Leitner had 12 boards during the night to lead the team as she also picked up eight points.
The Cougars shot 52 percent from the field and 59 percent from the arc, as compared to the Cowgirls” 33 percent in the field. Wyoming was 16 percent in three-point shooting.
Junior forward Darci Arsene contributed 19 points to Wyoming”s score, shooting 7-12 from the field.
BYU played with more concentration Saturday than it had all night against Colorado State, holding Wyoming to only two points in the first eight minutes of the second half.
“It was night and day,” Thorn said, thinking back to Colorado State. “We were more focused.”
Judkins was also impressed with the team”s performance and focus.
“The concentration tonight was where we wanted it,” Judkins said.
Hoping to hold on to their concentration, BYU will head to New Mexico next Thursday, beginning a three-game streak of road games.