Cougars open season v.s. South Dakota State

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After winning their two exhibition games the BYU women’s basketball team players are set to play their season opener Friday versus South Dakota State.

The Jackrabbits from South Dakota will make their first-ever visit to the Marriott Center on Friday, and this will mark the first meeting between these two teams. This presents an interesting challenge for the Cougars because they don’t have much game film on the Jackrabbits and are not sure what to expect from their opponent.

Jennifer Hamson goes up for a block during a recent road game. Photo by Meagan Larsen/ BYU Athletics
Jennifer Hamson goes up for a block during a recent road game. (Photo by Meagan Larsen/BYU Athletics)

“It’s always different because it’s not like you know the team,” said guard Xojian Harry. “You don’t know their tendencies and you don’t know their players, but we’re up for the challenge.”

During their exhibition games the Cougars had a difficult time moving the ball well, and this is something they have been working to improve all week.

“That’s one thing that we’ve work a lot on in practice is our motion,” said starting forward Morgan Bailey. “I think we doing much better, but I think that we just need to be patient on defense; it’s all about patience and not hunting for our shots.”

One player the Cougars are nervous about defending is junior guard Megan Waytashek, who is one of the leading scorers for the Jackrabbits. Last year she averaged 13.6 ppg and 4.3 rpg, and in two games she scored 30 points.

“She’s (Waytashek) their top player on their team right now,” said Kristine Fuller, “so we’re just going to have to be really conscious of where she is on the floor.”

The Cougars won both of their pre-season match ups and look to carry the momentum to the regular season.

“I think we had a good start, and it foreshadows a great season that we can have,” Harry said. “We talk about it all the time that this is a special team and that we can go really far and we can do great things. I think that the first two games definitely reflected that and just made us really excited for this season.”

Entering his 13th season as the head coach for the Cougars, Jeff Judkins, whose teams are 10-2 in season openers. The team hopes to come away with the win.

Tip off is at 3:00 p.m., and the game will be televised on BYUtv.

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