BYU got a great start to its home conference slate as the team brushed past the Loyola Marymount Lions on Thursday at the Marriott Center. The Cougars beat the Lions 80-47 in the team’s first home game in the West Coast Conference.
The Cougars were able to come out full of energy and start the game off with an early lead.
“We wanted to get momentum early on in the game,” freshman guard Lexi Eaton said.
Senior guard Haley Steed led the team by putting the first points on the scoreboard. She continued to keep up the team’s energy by dishing out eight assists and scoring two 3-point baskets. Senior Kristen Riley played consistently as she totaled 13 points total in the first half.
During the first half the Cougars held LMU scoreless for an almost eight-minute streak. BYU shot 61.3 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from beyond the arc.
At halftime, the Cougars led 48-22.
“It’s just what we do everyday at practice,” Eaton said. “I feel like we’re all playing really well together, especially on defense.”
Last week’s loss against Saint Mary’s seemed like a devastating blow to the team. However, the Cougars pulled together and proved that the team has depth and can come back for a win.
“We played a really tough game at Saint Mary’s and we could have felt sorry for ourselves, but we’re not that way,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “The leadership that we have on this team wouldn’t let the dream crumble after the loss.”
Riley was mismatched in terms of height but that didn’t keep her from playing great defense.
“Most of the teams we’ve been playing have had shorter, guard-like girls in the post and I’ve been focusing on playing them,” Riley said. “I knew there was going to be a mismatch, but I was mainly focused on playing good defense on their shooters.”
The Cougars had such a strong lead in the second half, Judkins gave the reserves some playing time.
“Some young kids got quality time,” he said. “In time outs don’t look at the score. Focus on what you’re trying to do.”
The reserve players finished up the game strong with as they added 28 points towards the Cougar victory. The team plays San Fransico on Saturday.