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BYU basketball: Cougars drop a tough one in San Diego

By Royce Hinton

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Jan. 18 2014 6:15 p.m. MST

BYU women’s basketball fell, 60-45, to San Diego on Saturday afternoon at Jenny Craig Pavilion.

“San Diego's pressure really hurt us,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "You can't turn over the ball as much as we did and expect to win. We didn't do a good job at getting the ball where we needed it to have an opportunity to score. This will be a learning opportunity for us as we continue through conference play."

Lexi Eaton led the Cougars with 16 points along with a team-high three steals, while Jennifer Hamson tied a career-high 17 boards to go with five blocks. Kim Beeston ended the game with 12 points from 3-of-6, 3-point shooting.

BYU (14-4, 4-3) and San Diego (16-2, 5-2) ended the game shooting around 34 percent. The Cougars finished with a season-high 28 turnovers compared to just 13 for the Toreros.

Eaton went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to give the Cougars their first points of the game.

Both teams played aggressive defense to start the first half. The Toreros went just 1-of-15 from the field, while San Diego forced seven Cougar turnovers in the first eight minutes of play as BYU took an 11-4 lead.

The Toreros came back to tie the game at 16-all with 6:26 left to play in the first half, but two quick buckets from Eaton put the Cougar advantage back up to five at 21-16.

The first 20 minutes closed out with back-and-forth buckets as BYU took a 28-26 lead at the break.

San Diego took nearly twice as many shots as the Cougars in the first half, 31-18. The Toreros only hit 32 percent of those shots compared to BYU’s 50 percent. The Cougars led the turnover margin at the break, 13-5, but had a 20-12 rebounding advantage.

Beeston started the second half with a 3-pointer to extend BYU’s lead to five at 31-28. Shortly after San Diego hit a 3-pointer and had a stolen inbounds pass for a bucket to take their first lead since 4-2 at 35-33.

Another quick bucket after a Cougar turnover capped off an 18-2 Torero run to give San Diego a double-digit lead at 46-35, forcing a BYU timeout.

The two teams traded buckets before the Toreros pulled away with a 60-45 win.

BYU returns home to the Marriott Center next week as it takes on San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. MST. Links to live stats and video streaming can be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.

Royce Hinton is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications

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