Strong defense and clutch shooting helped the BYU women’s basketball team to beat San Diego 54-50 Saturday in the Marriott Center.
“This game reminded me of our game with Saint Mary’s,” head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We needed this win.”
The win was a team effort, with three BYU players scoring in double digits. Lexi Eaton led all scorers with 16 points and six rebounds; Xojian Harry had 15 points and four rebounds; and Morgan Bailey added 13 points and eight boards.
Harry put the Cougars up by five with 2:55 left in the game by hitting a big three-pointer, helping the team to stay ahead.
“It let off a little pressure, and we felt like we could do this,” Harry said.
Eaton was then able to drive a pass in to Bailey, whose clock-beating layup preserved the Cougars’ lead.
Each team started off strong, and the game was tied 13-13 after the first 10 minutes of play. Strong rebounding from Bailey and Micaelee Orton set in motion an 8-2 Cougar run with four minutes left in the first half. A couple of Bailey free throws and a Harry baseline jumper extended the lead to 30-21 at the break.
San Diego made a comeback to tie the game 39-39 with 8:30 left in the game, but Harry’s 3-pointer and layup helped the Cougars retake the lead.
BYU’s Makenzi Morrison came up with a huge steal off of an inbound pass with 54 seconds left and the game still tight. Morrison was able to knock down both free throws after being fouled.
“We knew it was a big moment in the game,” Morrison said. “We had switched players, and it ended up being the right call.”
The Cougars shot 17-20 from the free-throw line and went 6-of-6 in the last minute of the game. Bailey secured the win with a rebound off of a desperate three-point shot from San Diego with two seconds left.