BYU women's basketball: Hamson leads Cougars in exhibition victory

By Spencer Shamo

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2 2013 6:46 p.m. MDT

PROVO – Senior Jennifer Hamson had her second straight 20 point, 10 rebound game to lead BYU in a 72-60 win over in-state foe Westminster on Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center.

“Last night was a tough game and tonight we came out flat,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “The referees really took us out of the game the way they were calling it. Our team needs to react to when they are calling it tight and understand that.”

Hamson ended with 20 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in 20 minutes of action. Junior forward Morgan Bailey was the only other player in double figures for the Cougars with 16 points to go along with her seven rebounds. Junior guard Stephanie Rovetti had six assists for the second straight game.

“Jen scored it and rebounded,” Judkins said. “Her timing is so much better and her understanding of what we’re doing is better. She doesn’t feel like she is being rushed out there. Right now she is one of the best players in the league.”

BYU shot 57 percent from the floor and outscored Westminster, 40-10, in the paint. The Cougars’ bench outscored the Griffins, 36-13. The defense held Westminster to 34 percent shooting from the field for the game.

Stuck in a tight contest with the Griffins, Hamson came through in a big way to start the second half scoring six of the first seven points to go along with three blocks to keep the Cougars in control of the game.

BYU started with a different lineup against the Griffins playing their second game in as many days. The first half saw 26 fouls in a back-and-forth contest that included nine ties and eight lead changes.

Junior Xojian Harry scored the first six points for BYU helping answer an 8-3 run from Westminster and spark the offense. BYU answered with a 10-2 run to retake the lead at 13-10. The game remained tight until the Cougars went on an 8-2 run to take a 32-26 lead.

The Griffins refused to go away and responded with a 6-0 run to tie the game again at 32 with 2:43 remaining. Sophomore guard Lexi Eaton then scored four points for the Cougars in a 7-2 run to take a 39-34 lead into halftime.

Bailey led all players with 12 points in the first half to go along with three rebounds and a steal. BYU shot 54 percent from the field in the first half and 73 percent from the free-throw line. The Cougars held Westminster to just 36 percent shooting from the field.

Hamson’s sixth point of the second half started an 11-1 run to give BYU its first double digit lead of the game at 55-44. With the Cougars up seven with just over six minutes left, Harry’s second 3-pointer of the game and a three-point play by Hamson sparked a 14-5 run to give BYU a game-high 16 point lead. The Cougars shot 61 percent from the floor in the second half on the way to the 72-60 victory.

BYU’s regular season home opener is Friday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. MST, against South Dakota State at the Marriott Center.

Spencer Shamo is a Communications major at BYU and the BYU softball SID.

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