BYU women’s basketball edges USF

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The BYU women’s basketball team added another win to its record (14-3)  Saturday when the Cougars beat the San Francisco Dons, 76-67.

“They’re [BYU] experienced, the experience and maturity they have makes a difference,” USF head coach Jennnifer Azzi said in a pregame interview.

The Cougars, now 3-1 in the WCC, had a rough time in the beginning pushing past the Dons (3-13, 1-2 WCC) for their second win in the WCC conference. After the home court win Thursday night against Loyola Marymount, the team came out at the start of the game struggling, but eventually pulled ahead.

“I’m very happy with the win I thought our staring 5 played a great game,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said.

The Dons started the game with a 6-0 lead, shooting 3-for-6 from the floor. Senior Kristen Riley started the game for the Cougars by scoring the first points.

“Kristen is playing awesome right now, she’s playing her best ball ever,” Judkins said.

The Cougars held their defense tight as they shut out the Dons for a six-minute stretch without a field goal.

The Cougars were 1-9 from 3-point range with 7:41 to play. But after a 7-0 run, the Cougars pulled ahead for an eight-point lead.

With 35 seconds left, the Dons stole the ball from the Cougars, rushed to the hoop and drew an intentional foul from Riley. Freshman Taj Winston for the Dons missed her first but made the second free throw, narrowing the lead toCougars, 36-32. The Cougars committed a total of 18 fouls in the first half.

In the second half, BYU started hitting its shots and pulled ahead for the win. Freshman Lexi Eaton continued to make her free throws, as she shot 88 percent from the line. Sophomore Jennifer Hamson helped the Cougars out underneath the basket by grabbing seven rebounds.

“Jennifer Hamson gave us a big lift with her inside presence,” Judkins said.

USF kept the game close, but BYU had the advantage in made field goals, 30-24, and rebounds, 41-33.

Senior Hayley Steed scored 13 points for BYU.

“Steed had an outstanding game; she let the shots come to her,” Judkins said.

USF senior Rheina Ale was the top scorer with 21 points. BYU’s Riley had 19 points.

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