BYU women's basketball: Cougars blow big lead, fall to Creighton in OT, 65-62
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — For all 40 minutes of regulation, the BYU women's basketball team never trailed against Creighton.
The Cougars rolled up an 18-point lead late in the first half and were up by 16 at intermission. BYU had a 14-point cushion with a little less than seven minutes remaining.
But the Bluejays staged a furious rally and defeated the Cougars in overtime, 65-62, at EnergySolutions Arena Wednesday afternoon.
Basically, Creighton led for a grand total of a little more than one minute of the game's 45 minutes.
"It's very disappointing. It's a game we should have won," said Cougar coach Jeff Judkins. "It's a game that we're going to look back on at the end of the season and say, 'We should have won that game.'"
BYU fell to 3-4 on the season while Creighton improved to 3-2.
The Bluejays took their first lead, 57-56, with 3:34 left in overtime when Ally Jensen hit the front-end of a one-and-one. Moments later, the Cougars recaptured the lead when Kim Beeston hit a 3-pointer.
The next time the Bluejays led was with 19 seconds left in OT, when Sarah Nelson hit a long-range 3-pointer, lifting Creighton to a 64-61 advantage. It proved to be the game-winning shot.
Prior to that, Nelson, who finished with 16 points, had missed all five of her 3-point attempts.
"It's tough to have a 15-point lead and just fall apart — both offensively, defensively — and not (make) the plays we need to make," Judkins said. "We missed a lot of opportunities — a lot of shots, a lot of things we needed to take care of. You can't let a team come back like that."
Creighton knocked down six 3-pointers in the second half, plus the one in overtime.
"In the first half we did a good job of really getting out there and not giving them those shots," Judkins said. "In the second half, we didn't. We got lazy."
BYU shot only 27 percent (7 of 26) in the second half and 16.7 percent (1 of 6) in overtime.
"Offensively, the last six minutes, we stunk. We didn't run plays right. We didn't do anything," Judkins said. "That's how our season has been this year. This is our fourth loss and it's like it's a record. Just the same thing — get a lead, come out the second half not ready to play, let them back in the game, fight down to the end, make mistakes and then get beat. We've got to learn from it. We've talked about it over and over. Maybe one day it'll change. I hope sooner than later."
Guard Lexi Eaton led BYU with 18 points and Keilani Unga added 11. Creighton's Marissa Janning led all scorers with 19 points.
Certainly, the Cougars missed the inside presence of 6-foot-7 center Jennifer Hamson, who also plays volleyball for BYU. The Cougar women's volleyball team hosts the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday.
"Jen will make a big difference and give us what we need," Judkins said. "That hurt tonight, not having an inside presence, which we haven't had when we don't have her."
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