OGDEN — Ending a tough three-game road schedule, the Cougars took down Weber State 84-67 Saturday night on the Wildcats' home court.
"We had a really great defensive effort in the first half," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "When they cut into our lead, we still executed and got what we needed. Our bigs were very active inside and did a nice job for us."
Freshman Lexi Eaton and sophomore Kim Parker led the Cougars with 12 points apiece and Dani Peterson had 11. Haley Steed led the defense with nine defensive rebounds and 10 total. Steed also had five assists. Dual-sport athlete Jennifer Hamson had nine points and seven rebounds following a successful volleyball victory Saturday afternoon, where she totaled 16 kills.
The Cougars shot 48.3 percent and had 16 assists, but got into foul trouble during the game with 17 fouls. They held the Wildcats to 36.8 percent shooting and forced 14 Weber State turnovers.
Two free throws and a quick layup pushed the Cougars to a 4-2 lead to launch the game. After more than two minutes without a basket, Eaton's fast break layup kicked off a 9-2 scoring streak to push BYU's lead to 17-8. With 10:15 left in the first half, Alexis Kaufusi took it to the hoop with the help of Stephanie Rovettito more than double the Wildcats' score at 21-10. The basket was part of an 8-0 Cougar run.
Eaton and Stephanie Vermunt each scored eight points in the first half, helping BYU to a 48-28 lead going into halftime.
BYU stumbled coming out of the locker room, allowing Weber State two 6-2 runs to begin the second half. The Wildcats cut the lead to 52-40. Missed shots plagued the Cougars, allowing the Wildcats to continue chipping away at the BYU lead.
A Parker jump shot started a 10-2 to bring the Cougars back to life, giving them a 12-point lead. BYU fired off 12 points, eight of which came from free throws, to end the game 84-67.
BYU celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday hosting Wisconsin Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Eastern Washington Saturday at 2 p.m. Saturday is Family Day at the Marriott Center, when admission is $10 per family.
UTAH STATE 69, UC IRVINE 64: At Irvine, Calif., with three players scoring in double figures, the Aggies battled to a 69-64 road win against UC Irvine at the Bren Events Centers on Saturday. Senior forward Ashlee Brown led the Aggies (3-1) with 21 points.
Senior guard Brooke Jackson and senior forward Maddy Plunkett both scored 12 points for the Aggies in the win. Brown added 14 rebounds which was just one shy of her career high. Brown brought down 15 rebounds in an overtime win at Northern Arizona last season.
The Anteaters (0-4) were led by 20 points from Jazmyne White, while Methlyn Onogomuho had 11 and Jasmine Bernard added 13.
The 3-1 start is the Aggies best since starting 3-1 during the 2009-10 season.
"Ashlee Brown was great for us today. She helped us with offensive rebounds and from the foul line. She is just working really hard for us. We are just working on getting better around her," USU head coach Raegan Pebley said.
Both teams started slowly with several turnovers in the first four minutes of the game. UC Irvine would jump out to a 7-2 lead before a Brown layup cut the lead to 7-4. The senior scored the first six points of the game for the Aggies, helping cut the lead to 7-6 with 14:30 remaining in the first half.
Brown continued to lead the Aggie offense scoring the first eight points of the game until a layup by Plunkett cut the lead to 12-10 with less than 11 minutes left in the first half. Brown continued to be a one-woman show, scoring 13 of USU's first 15 points.
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