The BYU women’s basketball team took down the University of Utah on Saturday 53–48, giving Utah its first loss of the year. The Utes now stand at 7–1, while BYU improves to 5–4.
Senior guard Haley Steed lead the team with 22 points, warding off the Utes in the last moments of the game.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Haley,” BYU Coach Jeff Judkins said. “She’s a special player. She wanted to take the shot. She came to me and said, ‘coach I think I can beat her off the dribble and get in and make some plays.’ A good coach listens to their best player and tells them to go for it. So it was a great game by her.”
The last six minutes of the game saw high intensity as the lead changed hands twice and the score got tied up three times. Points by Steed, sophomore forward Morgan Bailey and junior forward and guard Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn sealed the win for BYU.
“I thought (Seaborn) finally came out,” Judkins said. “Lately she’s been in a slump, shooting 12 percent from the three. It’s nice to see her hit some shots and get some confidence.”
This win gave BYU three points toward the Deseret Duel and also gave some confidence back to the team, who has had a difficult start to it season.
“This was a hard week,” Steed said. “Jen (Hamson) played volleyball, and then Lexi (Eaton) went down with a season-ending injury. It was just an emotional roller coaster of a week a little bit. For us to come together and win two in-state games was big for us.”
Junior center Jennifer Hamson returned from volleyball early Saturday morning and was able to play with the team against the Utes.
“I’ve got to give Jen a lot of credit,” Judkins said. “She plays a tough match yesterday, gets on a plane at four in the morning, gets here, she’s beat, has no game plan, no preparation, no nothing. She was tired tonight; she usually runs the floor, has more balance to her game, but her presence tonight was very helpful.”
The Cougars’ next week is free from games, and with Hamson back from volleyball and Eaton out with an ACL injury, they will take the time to readjust the inner workings of their team.
Next, BYU takes on Tulsa on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Marriott Center.