FORT COLLINS, Colo. The BYU women's basketball team opened Mountain West Conference play Saturday with a 60-39 win at Colorado State, led by freshman Coriann Wood, who set career-highs with 13 points and three 3-pointers.
Senior Lauren Riley-Varley also tied a career-high with 14 rebounds in the game, including 12 in the second half, and freshman Mindy Nielson had a career-best five assists.
"I was proud of how we handled their defense today," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "I was really proud of Coriann Wood and Mindy Nielson tonight. They really stepped up for us, and I was most happy that Wood was not afraid to take shots. That's what we put her in there for."
BYU took a 13-point lead, 29-16, into the locker room at halftime and recorded a season-low seven turnovers in the first 20 minutes. The Rams tied the game at 16-16 with just over five minutes left in the first half, but the Cougars scored the next 13 points to close out the half and never allowed CSU to get back into the game.
Junior Shawnee Slade went down with a left ankle injury in the first half, but she returned to play in the second half.
The 16 points allowed in the first half is the fewest the Cougars have allowed in any half this season, and the 39 total points is also the fewest allowed by the team as well.
"I thought we played a very solid game today," Judkins said. "To hold CSU to only 39 points is a great accomplishment for us. We need the fans to come out against Utah and UNLV next week and support us so we can keep winning these conference games."
BYU will host UNLV at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Marriott Center, then hosts Utah on Saturday at 7 p.m.
WEBER STATE 68, E. WASHINGTON 49: At Cheney, Wash., Sara Tuomi scored 19 points and pulled down six rebounds to help Weber State end a five-game losing streak with a Big Sky Conference road win.
The 19-point win marks the second-largest margin of victory of the season for the Wildcats, who picked up their first Big Sky victory and improved to 7-8 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
For the first time this season, the Wildcats never trailed as they won for the fourth straight time over the Eagles. With the game tied at 8 four minutes in, WSU went on a 14-4 run and never looked back. WSU led 33-23 at halftime and the Eagles never got closer than nine points in the second half.
The Wildcats led by as many as 21 points.
"I was pleased with our effort and intensity, especially on the defensive end," said WSU coach Carla Taylor, who was coaching her 550th career game at Weber State. "We bought into what we needed to do defensively and that set the tone for the rest of the game. Our defense was our best offense today."
Tuomi led the Wildcats in scoring for the ninth time this season and has now scored in double figures in all 15 games this season.
WSU freshman Caitlin Anderson came off the bench for career-highs of 14 points and seven rebounds. Tonya Schnibbe added eight points, six assists, and tied the Weber State school record with seven steals.
The Wildcats will now return home for two Big Sky games next week when they host Montana State on Thursday and Montana on Saturday at the Dee Events Center.
NEW MEXICO ST. 71, USU 56: At Las Cruces, N.M., senior forward Jamelah Brown scored a game-high 14 points in a losing effort as New Mexico State defeated Utah State at NMSU's Pan American Center.
Senior guard Taylor Richards tallied 11 points to give her 1,001 for her career, becoming the fifth player in USU history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. Senior center Jenny Gross grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and Brown had seven rebounds as USU outrebounded NMSU, 39-32.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Utah State, which fell to 6-9 on the season and 2-1 in WAC action. Anikia Jawara scored 19 points for NMSU, which improved to 13-3, 3-0.
UMKC 80, SOUTHERN UTAH 48: At Kansas City, Mo., UMKC's Alysa Klein shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor, becoming the second player in the Summit League to not miss a shot this year, as the Kangaroos jumped over Southern Utah.
The loss dropped the Thunderbirds to 3-13 on the year and 1-4 in conference play. UMKC improved to 8-8 and 1-4 in the Summit League. Junior Anne Westwood led SUU with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds. The Cedar City native also filled out the box with a career-high three steals and three blocks. Freshmen Kaila Goff and Jamie Sagers followed Westwood with eight points each, and Sagers also recorded a pair of blocks.
UMKC's Klein led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Chazney Morris' 16 points and Kalei Nance's 11.
SLCC 68, SNOW COLLEGE 58: At Ephraim, Krista Farr had a double-double for SLCC, finishing with 17 points and 13 rebounds, in the Scenic West Athletic Conference-opening road victory over Snow College.
The Bruins (12-4, 1-0 SWAC) also got 18 points from center BreAnne Haslem and 11 more from Michelle Pace.
SLCC earned a 40-26 rebounding advantage over the Badgers (7-8, 0-1 SWAC). McKenzie Jessop pulled down nine boards for the Bruins.
Four Badgers scored in double digits, led by Cami Hymas' 15 points. Vanessa Riggs and Cori Nielson added 11 apiece, and Lindsie Wilson had 10 points.
WESTMINSTER 67, GREAT FALLS 51: Elisa Leader scored 16 points to lead the Griffins (15-4) to a home victory over Great Falls (Mont.).
A 19-5 run in the first half gave Westminster a 36-24 halftime lead, and Great Falls never got closer than six points after that.
The Griffins' bench outscored the visitors' reserves 23-2.