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BYU women's basketball defeats Portland

By Ashlyn Hewlett

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 3 2012 4:02 p.m. MST

PORTLAND, Ore. — After a loss at St. Mary’s, which snapped a 10-game winning streak, BYU bounced back and secured its first road win in the West Coast Conference with a 79-53 decision over the Portland Pilots on Monday.

“It was a good win on the road,” head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We’re not playing the kind of ball that we need to be playing, but we were able to finish and I’m happy for the win."

Kristen Riley led the Cougars with a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds, and Haley Steed added five assists and three steals.

Lexi Eaton, after blocking Portland’s first shot attempt, scored the first points of the night for the Cougars with a 3-pointer, assisted by Steed. Both teams went on a four-minute shooting drought, which was finally broken with a layup by Dani Peterson.

BYU then went on a 14-5 run to lead 19-5. Although the Cougars had a considerable lead, Portland was able to inch its way back into the game, pulling within one by the end of the first half, 27-26.

The second half began with another Eaton 3-pointer, but the scoring from then was back and forth. The Cougars were eventually strung together a 5-0 run, which extended their lead to 10 at 38-28.

The Cougars took control and dominated the game from there, finishing the game with a 26-point margin, their biggest lead of the game.

“It was very important for us to get this win,” Riley said. “After the St. Mary’s loss, it was kind of do or die for us and we wanted to get that bad taste out of our mouth.”

As a team, BYU was outrebounded Portland, grabbing 45 boards to the Pilots' 36. BYU also dished out 16 assists to Portland's 12. The Cougars have tallied more assists than their opponents in all but one game.

Eaton, a true freshman, added 11 points, picking up her ninth career double-digit performance and Peterson added five blocks.

Natalie Day led the Pilots with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Cougars will return home to take on Loyola Marymount at the Marriott Center on Thursday at 5 p.m. MST.

Postgame notes

Team

-- In their second game as a member of the West Coast Conference, the Cougars beat the Portland Pilots, 79-53, to pick up their first win in league play.

-- For the ninth time on the season, BYU outrebounded its opponents. The Cougars grabbed 45 boards to the Pilots' 36.

-- BYU dished out 16 assists to Portland’s 12. The Cougars have had more assists than their opponents in all but one game.

Player

Haley Steed led the Cougars in both assists and in steals with five and three, respectively.

With a total of 11 points, true freshman Lexi Eaton picked up her ninth career double-digit outing.

Senior co-captain Kristen Riley tallied 19 points in recording her third straight double-figure game, the fifth of the year and the 32nd in her career. The total points are season bests.

Dani Peterson had five blocks in the game vs. Portland for new season and career highs in that category.

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