NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (Nov. 19, 2005)?In the opening game of the season, the BYU women?s basketball team overcame a 14 point first-half deficit to defeat Cal State Northridge Saturday afternoon, 76-59, in California.
?It was a great comeback,? head coach Jeff Judkins said. ?We showed a lot of character, and it was a good team effort.?
Both teams kept the score close until the 10:38 minute mark, when the Cougars went on a five-minute shooting slump, allowing the Matadors to go on a 12-0 run to take an 28-16 lead.
Mallary Gillespie put BYU back on the score board with two free throws at 5:05 to cut the lead to 10, 28-18. CS Northridege?s Kisztina Fuleki countered with two three-pointers, keeping the Cougars at bay.
Despite a strong effort in the final two minutes, BYU went into the locker room down by 14, 40-26.
BYU came out strong in the second half with Ambrosia Anderson and Dani Kubik pacing the Cougars, each posting career highs of 25 and 22 points, respectively. Anderson also added nine boards, and Kubik seven.
At the 8:52 mark, freshman Vanessa Hutson stole the ball from the Matadors. After getting fouled, Huston sunk both free-throws for a 52-52 tie.
The Cougars got their first lead of the game at 8:38 when Melinda Johnsen was fouled on a rebound, sending her to the line for two charity shots. Johnsen sank both, putting BYU up 54-52.
Turnovers and a tough BYU defense kept CS Northridge scoreless as the Cougars went on a 13-0 run, taking an 11-point lead, with 4:17 left.
BYU?s defense was key in the second half as it earned 17 steals and forced the Matadors into 30 turnovers on the game. The Cougars shot 39 percent from the field and 81 percent from the line, compared to CS Northridge?s 45 percent and 58 percent, respectively.
?In the second half we did better job getting the ball inside and scoring,? Judkins said. ?We played so much better in the second half, but Northridge is a good team and will do very well in their conference.?
The Cougars travel to California on Tuesday where they will face UCLA.
Game time is slated for 8 p.m. (MST).