The BYU women’s basketball team defeated the University of San Diego 57-53 in overtime on Thursday night for its first West Coast Conference road win.
The BYU bench played a major role in this game, scoring 23 of 57 points in the game.
“We have the best bench in the league,” BYU Head Coach Jeff Judkins said. “Two or three could be starting really easily. They can come in and turn the game around.”
Junior Stephanie Seaborn scored 16 of the bench points, a new career high. Her previous high was 14 points.
“I try to have the same mindset,” Seaborn said of coming off the bench. “I play just as important of a role. I give the team what it needs, whether it’s hitting shots or getting rebounds.”
The largest lead of the night came when the Cougars were up eight points during the first half when the score was 22-14. At that point, the Toreros slowly made their way back into the game until they took the lead with 15:57 left in the second half. The two teams battled back and forth until they were tied at the end of regulation.
“[Coach Judkins] talked to us a lot,” Seaborn said. “This road game is crucial if we want a championship. We’ve never lost to San Diego.”
The first bucket scored in overtime was a three-pointer by Seaborn, which sparked the Cougars to finish strong and win the game. Seaborn’s three-pointer was one of the plays Judkins mentioned in being a key part of their victory.
“There were a couple [of key plays]: Steph’s three-pointer in overtime, Jenn got a big basket, Haley penetrated,” said Judkins. “It was a good defensive effort.”
This is the second time that BYU has been forced into overtime this season. On November 28, the Cougars lost to Creighton in overtime 65-62. This time, however, they came away winning the game. Coach Judkins gave a few reasons for the different outcome.
“We made some plays that we had to, got an early lead so they had to catch us,” said Judkins. “Defensively, we didn’t give them open shots.”
Jennifer Hamson and Haley Steed led the team in rebounds and assists with nine and 10 respectively. The Cougars shot 47.1 percent behind the arc, and 38.5 percent overall.
The Cougars improved to 11-4, while San Diego’s record is now 9-6. BYU has never lost to San Diego in the five games they have played.
BYU will return home on Saturday to play Pepperdine at 2:00 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center.