Provo, Utah — Four Cougars scored in double figures as the BYU women’s basketball team defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 70-48 Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center.
“It's a good win, that's a good team,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I think we caught them on a tired night, but I saw a lot of good things. A lot of players have gotten better, and when we run our stuff, and we execute, we're tough to beat.”
Sophomore guard Ashley Garfield came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting and added eight rebounds and a season-high two steals. Junior Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn also scored 12 off the bench. Senior Jennifer Hamson tallied 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Sophomore Morgan Bailey collected 10 points and six rebounds.
Tulsa (3-6) struck first, but BYU (6-4) played efficiently on offense, as its first four buckets were layups. Seaborn also added two free throws to bring BYU within one, 10-11, with 12:57 left in the first half.
Two possessions later, Hamson hit a short jumper with about 11 minutes left to give the Cougars their second lead of the game, 12-11.
Bailey grabbed an offensive rebound and laid the ball in with 9:48 left, her second basket of the game. On the other side of the court, she altered a Tulsa shot, causing a Tulsa shot clock violation.
With 6:27 remaining, the Cougars snagged two offensive boards to set up a mid-range jumper by Garfield to put her team up, 22-15.
The next time down the court, senior Keilani Unga got an easy layup after she secured another offensive rebound. On the following possession, Unga found a cutting Bailey for an easy score to give the Cougars a 26-15 advantage.
With just over three minutes left in the half, Steed threw a full-court pass to a running Kim Parker Beeston who immediately dished the ball to Garfield for a layup and a foul. She made the extra point to put BYU ahead, 30-17.
Tulsa scored five in a row before freshman guard Kylie Maeda made a buzzer-beating layup to end the period, 32-22.
The Cougars owned the rebounding advantage at the half, 25-16. They also shot 44.8 percent from the floor while holding Tulsa to just 26.7 percent shooting.
BYU opened the half on another Unga assist to Hamson for a lay-in right at the basket. The next time down the floor, Hamson scored two more to put BYU up 36-22.
“In the second half I challenged the starters to come out and play and be more aggressive, and I thought they were,” Judkins said. “Haley (Steed) was more aggressive and so was Jennifer (Hamson).”
Tulsa got three opportunities to score on their next possession, but two blocks by Hamson led to a fast-break 3-pointer from Beeston.
After a layup by Unga with 17:04 remaining, Tulsa scored six consecutive points. BYU responded to the run as Seaborn found Bailey for a jumper to give BYU a 43-28 lead.
Neither team could find the bottom of the net until Bailey returned the favor by dishing to Seaborn for an open trey with 10:35 left.
Bailey scored on another jumper then Tulsa converted consecutive 3-pointers before Seaborn drove the ball, made the shot and drew a foul. She also scored from the charity stripe to increase the lead, 51-34.
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The Golden Hurricane went on an 8-2 run before Steed took over. She first answered by hitting a 3-pointer with 5:27 remaining. On the next play, she blocked a Tulsa attempt, which led to a fast break. Steed passed to Hamson for an open look. Tulsa scored two then Steed made a short jumper in the lane and got an assist on the next possession as Hamson converted a field goal to put BYU up, 62-44.
Tulsa added two more to their score before Steed hit another jumper. On the defensive end, Steed stole the ball and ran the length of the court then threw a bounce pass to hit Garfield in stride for a layup as BYU increased its lead to 20, 66-46.
The last Tulsa basket came with 2:45 left in the game. BYU scored two more buckets before emptying its bench. The Cougars ended the game on an 8-2 run.
Aaron Sorenson is a sports information director at BYU.