Riley named WCC player of the week as BYU looks for redemption against St. Mary’s

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Senior Kristen Riley, a California native, was named player of the week in the West Coast Conference, after racking up 12 points from the 3-point line against Santa Clara.

“I think it’s well deserved,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said about Riley’s achievement. “Riley has been, I think, one of the best players in the conference right now. She’s had several double-doubles and she’s a really hard match-up for teams with her size and her quickness. When Riley’s playing her game, her team’s very, very strong.”

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BYU center Kristen Riley drives to the basket during Thursday's game against Loyola Marymount at the Marriott Center.
During the two games BYU played last week, Riley averaged 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. In wins against Seattle and Santa Clara, she had team highs in points and rebounds. The double-double she recorded last week is the ninth she’s posted in her career.

“I’m just glad BYU got some recognition being the new team in the conference,” Riley said about her WCC honor. “I’m just glad and really pumped about it.”

Riley leads the team in points and rebounds and her teammates said they are proud of her great accomplishments.

“We’re just happy for her and glad that she was able to get some recognition,” senior Haley Steed said. “She’s been playing awesome since conference started and has been tearing it up.”

BYU will face Pepperdine on the road tonight and Judkins said Pepperdine is his priority right now. However, the big game on everyone’s minds is the home game against St. Mary’s on Saturday in Provo.

“I think both teams are going to be really hyped up for that game because all of us are still in the hunt for the conference championship,” Steed said.

The Cougars lost to St. Mary’s in a not-so-happy New Year’s Eve game, 48-54. St. Mary’s is currently 16-7 in the WCC and looking for another win against BYU. Judkins said St. Mary’s is one of the most athletic teams in the conference. The game against the Gaels this weekend will be a true competition of athleticism, energy and drive.

“We’re definitely really excited to be playing them again and we want a little redemption,” Riley said. “We’re really excited just to be on our home court with our fans and it’s going to be a really good game.”

St. Mary’s is averaging 66 points a game. Their top scorer is senior Jasmine Smith, who puts up 17 points per game. In the last game against Gonzaga, she had 20 points and played for 39 minutes.

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