BYU women's basketball: Cougars hang on in overtime nailbiter
SAN DIEGO — Staying cool while the pressure was on, the BYU women’s basketball team held off San Diego for a 57-54 overtime victory Thursday on the Toreros’ home court.
"I'm happy with the win, especially on the road," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We still have a lot to work on. Stephanie (Seaborn) had a great game and it was great for us to have her coming off the bench. Kim (Beeston) also had a good game and it was nice to have Jennifer (Hamson) back."
Three Cougars (11-4, 2-0 West Coast Conference) scored in double figures, with Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn leading the way scoring 16. She shot 6-for-9 from the field and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Jennifer Hamson put up 13 points and Kim Parker Beeston had 10, including two 3-pointers of her own. Hamson also led on the boards with nine. Haley Steed dished out 10 assists.
BYU shot 47.1 percent from 3-point land, 38.5 percent overall, and held the Toreros (9-6, 1-2 WCC) to shooting 31.3 percent.
The Cougars used 3-point shooting to overcome a 6-0 deficit to start the game. Steed dished the ball to Beeston, who drained a trey for BYU’s first points of the game after four minutes of play. Xojian Harry tied it up 6-6 with another 3-pointer, setting Hamson up to take the lead on a layup.
After jumping ahead on a 14-2 run, the Cougars allowed the Toreros to come back and tie the score 14-14. Seaborn answered with her second trey of the night, launching another scoring streak that put BYU ahead 22-17.
A Beeston 3-pointer finished off the half, sending the Cougars to the locker room with a 25-21 lead. The 3-point shooting kept the team alive in the first half, as the Cougars shot 62.5 percent from beyond the arc while shooting 36 percent overall. The Toreros were held to 33.3 percent overall and from the 3-point line.
San Diego tied up the game with 16:48 on the clock in the second half, with Torero Amy Kame taking a fastbreak layup for a 27-27 score. Another Torero layup gave San Diego its first lead since the beginning of the first half.
Finding themselves once again behind by six points, the Cougars kicked it into gear with a layup from Ashley Garfield and a pair of free throws from Hamson. Seaborn took the ball coast to coast for a layup to put BYU within two, 35-33, with nine minutes to play.
Steed threw down her first points of the night on a 3-pointer, taking back the lead for the Cougars, 38-37. A lead swap ensued as the clock wound down, pausing momentarily as BYU held a brief 49-45 lead with two minutes to play. San Diego used those two minutes to put up the four points needed to send the game into overtime with a 49-49 tie.
The score stayed tied for the first three minutes of bonus play until Seaborn drained her third 3-pointer of the night to give BYU a 52-49 lead, which the Cougars held on to for the final two minutes. San Diego cut the gap to one point on two occasions, but a Torero foul put Beeston on the free-throw line with two seconds left. Beeston made them both, giving BYU the hard-fought 57-54 victory.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center on Saturday to host Pepperdine at 2 p.m. MST.
BYU took a four-point, 25-21 advantage into the break. It has led at the half in all but two games on the year. When leading at halftime, BYU improved to 10-3 on the season.
The Cougar bench outscored the Toreros' bench 23-11.
BYU finished the game with eight blocks to USD’s one. It dished out 13 assists to the Toreros' 11.
Three players finished with double figures in points in the win over San Diego, the eighth time this year that three players have scored 10-plus points.
Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn came off the bench to lead all scorers in the first half with nine points. She finished the game with a season-high 16 to lead BYU. The points mark the fifth double-digit outing of the year for Seaborn.
Jennifer Hamson led the team in rebounds with nine and in blocks with five. She also scored 13 points for her sixth double-figure game in points on the year.
Kim Beeston picked up her 10th double-figure game in points with 10. She has put up double digits in points in the last five-straight contests.
Haley Steed recorded a game high in assists with 10. Steed has led BYU in assists in all games to date.
Xojian Harry had three steals to tie her career best in that category.
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