BYU Women's Hoops: Kristen Riley's 22 Boost BYU Cougars to Victory
LOS ANGELES — Forward Kristen Riley scored a season-high 22 points to led the BYU women’s basketball team to its sixth straight West Coast Conference win with a 72-48 victory over Loyola Marymount Thursday night at the Gersten Pavilion.
“I’m really happy with the win,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “It was a great team effort and a good win on the road. These guys are tough to play here. I think Riley played another great game. Defensively, she did a great job on their top player. In the second half, I thought Lexi Eaton and Jennifer Hamson really gave us a big lift. Jen played very aggressive in the post.”
Riley led in points and rebounds, securing her third double-double of the season and seventh of her career with 10 boards. Riley shot 9-for-13 from the field and had four assists. True freshman Eaton also had a stellar performance, tying her career high of 16 points and contributing two steals and three rebounds.
Hamson was close behind Riley in rebounding with eight boards and four blocks. Haley Steed, No. 1 in the WCC and No. 7 in NCAA Div. I women’s basketball for assists, had nine assists in the victory with four rebounds and three steals.
The Cougars (17-3, 6-1) had 13 turnovers to LMU’s 17 and outrebounded the Lions, 38-28. BYU shot 50.9 percent from the field and held LMU (4-14, 0-6) to 34 percent.
BYU got off to a quick start with a 7-2 run, including six points from Riley. Eaton pulled the Cougars back with a 3-pointer after a brief deficit, kick-starting a 17-0 BYU run. The Cougars kept the Lions from scoring for almost eight minutes before LMU’s Courtney Collishaw hit a jumper with 7:23 left in the first half.
The Cougars maintained an 11-point lead the rest of the half with a score of 31-20 at the buzzer.
Riley had 17 points by halftime, shooting 80 percent from the field. She also led both teams with six rebounds at the half. BYU outrebounded LMU 22-11 in the first half.
Tying her season high, Riley started off the second half with two made free throws. The Lions came on strong with a 5-0 run in the first four minutes. LMU cut the Cougar lead to four before a Dani Peterson trey stopped the Lions’ pursuit.
With Riley on the bench from foul trouble, Eaton stepped up to take BYU back to a double-figure lead on a layup. Steed and Hamson made it a 16-point game with a 10-0 run. Eaton tied her career-high of 16 with a 3-pointer with five minutes on the clock, pushing the Cougars to their largest lead of the game.
Riley set her new season high of 22 points on a three-point play.
The women’s basketball team returns to action at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Marriott Center Saturday for a matchup against Portland.
BYU went on a 17-0 run to take a 24-9 lead with 7:46 left in the first half. The Cougars defense held the LMU scoreless for eight minutes.
With the 72-48 win over LMU, BYU improved to 15-0 when leading at the half. They were up by 11, 31-20, at the break.
The Cougars outrebounded the Lions, 38-28, improving their record to 12-1 on the year when grabbing more boards than their opponents.
BYU put up 40 points in the paint and 16 off of LMU miscues.
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