SAN FRANCISCO — Despite a strong second half and 19 points from Haley Steed, the BYU women’s basketball team fell to San Francisco 65-56 on Saturday night.
The loss was the Cougars’ second in West Coast Conference play, putting BYU’s record at 13-6 overall and 4-2 in league play. San Francisco improved to 9-11 and 2-5 in WCC play.
"We didn't come out ready to play," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We weren't focused. We didn't execute and make shots where we needed to. We came back, but in the end we still didn't finish what we needed to."
Steed scored her 19 points with the help of five 3-pointers, also grabbing seven rebounds, three assists and five steals. Kim Parker Beeston had 15 points for the Cougars and Ashley Garfield led on the boards with eight.
BYU shot 35 percent on the game, while the Dons shot 43 percent.
The Dons took the early lead, jumping ahead 14-5 on a 9-2 run. A Steed trey with 8:52 left in the half cut the lead to 20-15. San Francisco recovered quickly, throwing down a pair of layups and a jumper to push ahead 27-17.
BYU allowed six more Don points before the end of the half and couldn’t answer with any of its own, heading to the locker room down 33-17.
The Cougars shot 24 percent from the field in the half, while San Francisco shot 42 percent. Steed led the Cougars in the first half with six points from two 3-pointers and five rebounds.
Beeston launched the second half with a 3-pointer. Stephanie Vermunt Seaborn followed it up with another 3-pointer, part of a 10-2 BYU scoring run that cut the score to 35-27. Beeston scored seven of BYU’s 10 points during the run.
Stuck behind by at least eight points for the first eight minutes of the second half, Steed sliced down the deficit to 43-47 on a 3-pointer, her third of the game.
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The Cougars cut the lead to four, but with three minutes left in the game, found themselves down by 10 once more on a jumper by San Francisco’s Zhane Dikes. Steed responded with another 3-pointer and cut the lead to five with the help of Keilani Unga’s layup.
Just as things looked promising for BYU, fouls started causing trouble for the Cougars. With San Francisco in bonus in the final minute, five made free throws gave the Dons the 65-56 win.
Thursday the Cougars return to the Marriott Center for their first meeting with Saint Mary’s this season. The teams tip off at 7 p.m. MST.
Rachel Hawks is a sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.