A flurry of three-pointers and strong defense helped the BYU women’s basketball team take down Loyola Marymount 72–53 in the Marriott Center on Thursday night.
BYU improved to 4–1 in West Coast Conference play (13–5 overall) on 50 percent shooting from the floor, while the team’s defense held LMU (8–12, 2–5) to only 32.8 percent.
“I thought we played a good game tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought our bench the first half really helped us get going. I thought Ashley Garfield and Morgan Bailey came in and gave us a good lift. It’s nice having people that will be ready to go.”
The Cougars bench scored a combined 29 of the teams 72 points, led by Morgan Bailey’s 10 points and Ashley Garfield’s nine points.
After a slow start by the Cougars, BYU guard Haley Steed provided a spark with a trey to give the Cougars their first points.
“In the first couple of minutes I think that our defense wasn’t where it should be,” Kim Beeston said. “So once we tightened up defensively and were more aggressive, things just start to flow a lot better.”
Steed’s second three of the night with 8:48 left in the first half started a 15–4 BYU run. In the first half, BYU shot 8–14 from beyond the arc. The Cougars led LMU 46–34 going into halftime.
The majority of BYU’s overall 10–23 three-pointers came from the hands of Kim Beeston, who shot 5–7 from beyond the arc (5–8 overall) and ended with 15 points. Jennifer Hamson added 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks, and Steed had 13 assists and eight points.
“Offensively, we didn’t have a set game plan,” Beeston said. “It’s just what is open and what they gave us, and it seemed like the three was open tonight.”
BYU had a major advantage in the paint. The Cougars led the Lions in rebounding, 46-28, led by Beeston’s nine rebounds. While LMU was 10–13 from the charity stripe in the first half, free throw shooting was nonexistent in the first half for BYU. In the second half, however, they were more aggressive and got to the line eight times, making half of those attempts.
“We don’t shoot a lot of foul shots,” Judkins said. “But what we have to do is penetrate the defense and make sure we get the ball inside and out, and we did a better job of that in the second half.”
BYU will travel to San Francisco to continue WCC play against the Dons on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. PST.