BYU women’s basketball emerges triumphant

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It was nothing short of domination Tuesday night when BYU’s women’s basketball faced BYU-Hawaii in the first game of the Hukilau Invitational in Laie, Hawaii, winning 88-27.

BYU outscored BYU-Hawaii across the entire board. The Cougars were 46 percent to the Seasiders’ 27 percent in shooting, had 46 rebounds to BYU-Hawaii’s 34 and held 29 steals. BYU also forced 46 turnovers — a new single game record.

The 61-point difference included 17 points from BYU’s player of the game, Kim Parker, who in 16 minutes contributed five rebounds, three assists and four steals.

“This was a hard game to really get my team up for,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “I knew we could beat them — we’re more talented, bigger and stronger. I think that proved it tonight.”

The Cougars’ 8-0 run to start the game was only interrupted when the Seasiders scored off of a free throw. It took 11 minutes for BYU-Hawaii’s first field goal.

By halftime, BYU was up 48-8, and Judkins said he even considered changing his starting line-up second half, but resorted to switching up defensive pressure.

“We didn’t press the second half,” Judkins said. “We didn’t want to rub it in; we wanted to work on our team defense.”

And that’s what the Cougars did. The team was able to run new defensive plays not normally put into games, play more zone than man and try out different player combinations.

“Defense is the main point of the game,” freshman Xojian Harry, who had eight points, said. “Defense turns the offense. Defense is the main priority that we focus on in practice. We take so much pride in our defense — in denying, in rebounding, in everything. When we play good defense, we play good the rest of the game.”

But BYU-Hawaii didn’t go unnoticed. Junior Shayla Washington had 10 points and seven rebounds, second to teammate Taylor Mann’s eight rebounds.

Parker said she was happy with the consistency in hustling during the game, particularly in the second half, because laziness during one game can easily transfer over to another game.

“I don’t think we can ever step down defensively,” Parker said. “It’s hard when you’re beating a team by quite a bit to constantly have the aggressive nature, so that was something I was really happy with. I think when everyone got in, they were able to do their role; they got in and just gave a lot of effort.”

BYU’s next game won’t come as easily. The University of Arizona is 5-0, but Judkins said it was at least nice to get players a lot of minutes and experience on the court. Parker’s thoughts were along the same line.

“It’s nice to play in the same gym [for all three games],” Parker said. “We’ve got a feel for how the court is, how the hoops are, so that’s going to help us. ”

BYU takes on Arizona Thursday at 6 p.m. MST.

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