The BYU women’s basketball team’s last week of West Coast Conference play kicks off at Loyola Marymount on Thursday night.
The Cougars (19–8, 10–4) are hitting the road after finishing their home season 13–1. BYU almost completed an undefeated home season, but Gonzaga defeated BYU on Saturday. LMU (10–17, 4–10) is fresh off a loss at St. Mary’s on Saturday. Both LMU and BYU will be looking to get back on track before the WCC tournament in Las Vegas next week.
“I think my team responded well in practice yesterday,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “We know we can come in second place by winning the next two games. We have a chance at winning the conference tournament. We know we’re as good as any team in this conference when we come ready to play.”
These two teams met earlier this season in the Marriott Center. BYU defeated LMU 72–53 behind a strong defense that held the Lions to scoring only 19 points in the second half. Three of the Cougars’ players scored in double figures, led by Kim Beeston’s 15 points. Beeston also grabbed nine rebounds, four of them offensive rebounds. LMU’s Alex Cowling scored 14 points.
“These last two games determine if we’re going to have a good season or a mediocre season,” Beeston said. “We’ve played both of the teams, we know what they’re like. Just thinking in terms of where we will be if we win these games… I think that will help.”
Thursday is senior night for LMU, where the two seniors Cowling and Dani LeNoir will be honored. Cowling holds the LMU record for career scoring and rebounds. She is currently 21 points away from earning the WCC career scoring record. LeNoir has fought through injuries to be a strong member of the Lions’ team.
In the earlier meeting between these teams, BYU had 19 turnovers, seven more than LMU. The Cougars will be working to cut down on turnovers on the road.
“I feel like we’ve all gotten better at our composure,” junior Stephanie Seaborn said. “Teams pressure us and get up in our faces. It hasn’t affected us a badly anymore.”
BYU and LMU tip-off at 7 p.m. PST in Los Angeles on Thursday.