A big second half surge couldn’t propel the BYU women’s basketball team to victory in San Francisco, where they lost 65–56 on Saturday afternoon.
With this loss, the Cougars fall to 4–2 in West Coast Conference play (13–6 overall), while the Dons improve to 2-5 in the WCC and 9–11 overall. BYU has lost two of its last three games.
Right from the start, BYU struggled to get the lead over San Francisco. Although the Cougars scored the first points, once the Dons took the lead, it was theirs for the rest of the game. BYU shot 35 percent and San Francisco shot 43 percent.
“We didn’t come out ready to play,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We weren’t focused.”
The lack of focus aided San Francisco when they took a 14–5 lead over BYU early in the first half. A trey ball by BYU guard Haley Steed with 8:52 left in the first half brought the Cougars within five points before the Dons pushed the lead to 27–17. San Francisco lead BYU 33–17 at halftime. San Francisco held BYU to only 24 percent while shooting 42 percent in the first half.
The Cougars started off the second half with a blaze as Kim Beeston nailed a three-pointer, followed by another three by Stephanie Seaborn. Beeston scored seven points to lead BYU on a 10–2 BYU run and cut the lead to 35–27. Once the Cougars cut the lead down to four, the Dons responded on offense and increased the lead to 10 points. As BYU got within five late in the game, foul trouble plagued the Cougars. San Francisco was in bonus in the last minute of the game and was able to make five free throws to give BYU its second WCC loss.
“We didn’t execute and make shots where we needed to,” Judkins said. “We came back, but in the end we still didn’t finish what we needed to.”
BYU had problems inside of the paint where San Francisco outscored them 34–16, so BYU relied on a flurry of three-pointers to keep them in the game. The Cougars were nine of 28 behind the three-point line. Steed made five of the nine BYU threes. She ended the game with 19 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Beeston also contributed with 15 points, six of those coming from beyond the arc.
San Francisco had three players in double-digit scoring, led by Zhane Dikes 19 points and seven rebounds.
A bright spot for the Cougars was their rebounding. BYU out-rebounded San Francisco 40–38, led by Ashley Garfield’s eight rebounds.
BYU will look to bounce back against St. Mary’s on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center.