BYU captures Hukilau Invitational title with trio of wins

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Syracuse’s 14-6 run in the last few minutes of the game proved unfruitful as the BYU women’s basketball team trampled the Orange on Saturday night in the last game of the Hukilau Invitational.

The Cougars won with a score of 83-59.

Like the past three years, the Cougars were unbeatable the Hukilau Invitational, finishing with three wins. This year the team defeated BYU-Hawaii, Arizona and Syracuse.

Junior Kim Parker ended the week with strong numbers. In total, she had 64 points — including 22 in Saturday’s game and a career high of 25 in the Arizona game. Parker also dished out 14 rebounds and 15 assists during the invitational.

Senior forward Dani Peterson also committed generous numbers against Syracuse with her first double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Senior Haley Steed and freshman Lexi Eaton also contributed double figures vs. the Orange, each scoring 10 points.

There was hardly a bad moment for the Cougars. Seven and a half minutes in, the team was up 21-6. By halftime, the players headed into the locker room comfortably up 45-25.

“We played really well [Saturday], and I’m very proud of our team,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “Especially how we played against two very tough teams in Arizona and Syracuse. [Saturday] we played hard, [and] executed our game plan.”

In the second half, a 3-pointer from sophomore Stephanie Vermunt increased the Cougars’ lead to 35 points.

The invitational proved to be bad news for Syracuse. Undefeated upon entrance, they left Hawaii with two losses on their record, against Arizona and BYU. Despite the loss to BYU, Syracuse’s Kayla Alexander led all scorers with 26 total points, including hitting 9 of 13 field goal attempts.

BYU ended the game shooting 49.2 percent on field goals and 42.3 percent on 3-pointers. Syracuse attempted seven 3-pointers throughout the game but didn’t make a single one. The Orange shot 37 percent overall.

The Cougars are now on a six-game winning streak. Their last loss was handed to them by Kansas State in mid-November.

The team will now return to Provo for two in-state rivalry games in the Marriott Center. This Thursday, BYU takes on Southern Utah, followed by a game against University of Utah on Saturday.

SUU is 2-5 on the season, while Utah had a .500 record at 3-3.

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