Two very close games left the BYU women’s basketball team feeling a bit defeated this week. Thursday’s game against Boston College ended in a 62-56 victory for Boston, and Friday’s game didn’t end any more successfully for the Cougars who lost 71-65 to Harvard.
There were a couple of breakdowns defensively on Thursday night that allowed for Boston College’s Katie Zenevitch to bank some easy layups.
“We weren’t rotating correctly on the pick-on-ball,” sophomore guard Lexi Eaton said. “So (Zenevitch) was just flipping and getting wide open layups. She was finishing them, and we didn’t adjust well enough so that’s our fault.”
Defense plays a big role for the Cougars and having mishaps in their defense is what seems to have lost them this game.
“I think it was our own defense that actually got us out of rhythm on offense,” Eaton said. “That’s where it starts for us. When we get soft on defense that kind of gets us into a flow offensively.”
Despite the loss, Eaton’s and senior forward Keilani Unga’s performances were the highlights for the Cougars. Eaton shot the game high of 17 points and was there to grab five rebounds.
Unga got a career-high on boards, snagging nine rebounds to help BYU out rebound Boston College 36-34.
The game against Harvard was a tough one and Harvard was led by 6′ 4″ Temi Fagbenle, who had previously played on an Olympic team.
“She was all over; she’s a good player,” Unga said. “As they said before, she was on a Great Britain Olympic team so she did really well. I just knew that I had to take it to her, but she could just work around it. She’s a great player.”
A few mistakes by BYU near the end made this game a close call. With only 30 seconds left BYU was only down by one point, and Harvard sunk a three-pointer. BYU then gave possession back to Harvard in a turnover allowing Harvard to finish the game ahead 71-65.
“Keilani (Unga) had a really nice game and Kim (Beeston) played really well for us as well,” BYU Head Coach Jeff Judkins said in a news release Friday. “We made some mistakes at the end, missed a couple of free throws. We had a lot better effort tonight and we’re getting better.”
Unga made a solid 14 points for BYU, her a season-high for points. Beeston also shot a season-high of 19 and grabbed the team-high for rebounds with six.
“This road trip was definitely a team building experience,” Unga said. “These losses do hurt us, but it builds us up at the same time. We come closer, we learn a lot from our mistakes. Once we hit up Arizona next week we’ll definitely be ready for them.”
Arizona is the next stop for the Cougars as they get ready to play the University of Arizona Wildcats at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the McKale Memorial Center.