Sometimes we get a little excited at the beginning, and sometimes it takes a timeout and (Judkins) to smack us in the head and calm us down.
PROVO — With its winning streak never in jeopardy, the BYU women's basketball team used a pair of key stretches to bury Nevada, 84-53, Thursday afternoon at the Marriott Center.
Down 16-14, the Cougars went on a 12-0 scoring run. In addition, the Wolf Pack experienced a huge drought, failing to put in a field goal in over nine and a half minutes.
That, and an equally effective 16-2 spurt to open the second half deflated Nevada (3-8), and ensured BYU (11-2) the victory, its 10th straight.
"We definitely wanted to go into conference play with a good record, and I think we can say we did that," Kristen Riley said. The Cougars open West Coast Conference play at St. Mary's on Dec. 31, and at Portland on Jan. 2.
The first half was highlighted by BYU's inside effort, with Riley scoring 10 of the Cougars' first 14 points, and Jennifer Hamson's active play underneath. Hamson had all of her 10 points in just nine minutes before halftime, and also finished the game with 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Riley led all scorers with 17 points — a season high for her — and also pulled down six rebounds. She said they were able to blow the game open after BYU head coach Jeff Judkins talked some sense into them.
"Sometimes we get a little excited at the beginning, and sometimes it takes a timeout and (Judkins) to smack us in the head and calm us down," Riley said.
Point guard Haley Steed was solid, dishing out a career-high tying 11 assists and didn't turn the ball over all game. Judkins praised the senior's play.
"She doesn't take a shot all game, and has 11 assists," he said. "Whatever the team needs, she does, and that's why she's a coach's dream."
Steed deflected the attention away from her, instead crediting team play for their success.
"With different teams come different looks, and whenever I can get the ball to my teammates and they can score, I know we're doing well," Steed said. "I think the strength of our team is that we can get out and run; the guards and the bigs."
BYU finished with 28 assists on 35 field goals made.
The Cougars' lead ballooned to 76-37 with just over five minutes remaining. Even with the reserves in for the final stretch, Nevada still had a hard time cutting into the huge lead.
BYU leading scorer Kim Parker contributed 11 points, while freshman Lexi Eaton chipped in with 10.
Nevada was led by Danika Sharp with 14 points. Arielle Wideman finished with 11 points, while Chanelle Brennan put in 10.