Women’s basketball to take on Pepperdine and San Diego

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The BYU women’s basketball team goes head to head with Pepperdine University and the San Diego Toreros this week in what should be two intense games.

Pepperdine (8-7, 3-1) and San Diego (11-3, 2-0) are both physical and athletic teams that will prove the depth of the Cougars.

“Pepperdine has a very up-tempo game, they press, they trap,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “They have two really good players who will cause some problems.”

Last season the team beat Pepperdine, 62-58. In the last four minutes of that game the Cougars held Pepperdine to only 2 points.

BYU is now 3-1 in the WCC and looking to add another win against Pepperdine. The Cougars defeated USF on Saturday with their shooting skills and by keeping on their toes while on defense.

“They drive to the basket and that’s where we can get hurt,” Judkins said. “[Pepperdine’s Jazmine] Jackson causes mismatch problems, but I think Kristen Riley has proven that she can take on mismatch problems with her size and quickness.”

Riley is on top of her game as she continues to lead the Cougars, scoring 19 points in the last game.

“Kristen has been incredible, all four conference games she has stepped up and was the leader for us,” senior point guard Hayley Steed said.

Pepperdine is sure to make some waves with its top scoring players. Jackson averages 16 points per game. In the victory against Portland, she put up 17 points.

“I think it’s a good progression this week to go to Pepperdine, then San Diego,” Steed said. “I think that preparing for Pepperdine will almost be preparing us the same for San Diego. I imagine they’re the same with defense and athleticism.”

The Toreros should prove to be quite a matchup for the Cougars. Guard Dominique Conners is a key player, averaging 15.8 points per game and 5.7 rebounds. The Toreros defeated Santa Clara last week by more than 10 points.

“San Diego, they’re playing really well,” Judkins said. “This is a big week. If we can get these two games we’ll be good.”

Pepperdine and San Diego might be different teams and bring a new intensity to the court, but the Cougars are going to approach these games with a positive mentality.

“I approach every game the same,” senior Dani Peterson said. “You can’t underestimate or overestimate anyone, you just need to go with the same mindset each game just knowing what you need to do to help contribute to the team to come out successful.”

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