The BYU women’s basketball team is looking to build off its recent home win with another victory against Pepperdine on the road this Saturday.
After defeating Santa Clara on Thursday, BYU (17–7, 8–3) hopes to continue its winning streak until the end of the season. BYU is tied again for second place in the West Coast Conference with St. Mary’s after the Gaels lost to Gonzaga on Thursday.
Pepperdine (4–18, 1–10) is currently in last place in the WCC, falling to San Diego 71–50 on the road on Monday night. Guard Ea Shoushtari led the Waves with 13 points.
The Cougars cannot afford to overlook the Waves, however. If BYU hopes to have a chance at being WCC champions, losing is not an option.
“We can’t afford to lose another game to have a chance at conference,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “We have to hope that somebody will beat Gonzaga to make it. There’s a lot at stake for the next six games. That’s what you work for. That’s what as a team you strive for to have those opportunities.”
BYU and Pepperdine have played each other already this season in Provo. The Cougars beat Pepperdine 68–42 on Jan. 12 in a game that saw four BYU players scoring in double figures. Kim Beeston led the Cougars with 15 points.
In the Cougars’ earlier victory over the Waves, Jennifer Hamson grabbed more rebounds than any other player on the court with nine. Hamson got back on track on Thursday by getting a career-high 16 rebounds, the most since the nine she grabbed against Pepperdine last month.
“People don’t realize that her defensive presence is probably more (important) than her offensive presence,” Judkins said. “(Thursday) she was more active defensively than she was in a lot of games. We’re not the same team without her. She’s a big piece of the puzzle.”
BYU and Pepperdine tipoff at 2 p.m. PST on Saturday in Malibu, Calif., and the game can be followed on BYU Radio.