BYU (20-4, 8-2) came out and tried to take a win against Pepperdine (19-12, 10-5), but the Cougars weren’t able to pull it off and had their first loss in nine games, 61-49.
A slower paced game, poor handling of the ball and no shots falling gave BYU a loss to on the road to Pepperdine.
The tempo of the game was slow, and BYU threw the ball away several times. Pepperdine gained the lead in the second half, and BYU wasn’t able to recover. Most of the shots were off and not even the best players on the team were able to do much damage.
“That was the game tonight,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said in a phone interview. “The game tonight was not taking care of the ball, and a lot of forced turnovers.”
Pepperdine pulled in with a 10 point lead in the low scoring game. During the second half, things got sloppy for the Cougars as they committed 23 turnovers. Pepperdine gained 17 points on those turnovers which gave them the lead for the rest of the game.
“We had a lot of turnovers,”Judkins said. “When you have turnovers you play cautious and you can’t make shots and get where you need to be defensively.”
The Waves played great defense and at halftime the Cougars were only in the lead by one. The Cougars still put the pressure on defensively. In the first half they held Pepperdine’s top scorer, senior Jazmine Jackson, scoreless.
BYU couldn’t establish itself in the paint and sophomore Jennifer Hamson got into foul trouble and had to sit out. The team’s 3-pointers weren’t falling, and the Cougars shot 16.7 percent from beyond the arc.
“I think we’ve been on the road a long time, it’s been a long stretch,” Judkins said. “We knew this would be hard when we saw the schedule.”
Senior Kristen Riley had another double-double, scoring 15 points and 13 rebounds, but even that wasn’t enough to pull ahead. BYU’s stats weren’t up to par as the Cougars shot just 36.7 percent from the field.
The Cougars will gear up and prepare to take on St. Mary’s.