SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Kristen Riley had 17 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 23 Brigham Young beat Santa Clara 74-64 on Saturday.
Jennifer Hamson added 16 points for the Cougars (20-3, 9-1 West Coast Conference), who are playing their first year in the WCC and have won nine straight since dropping their conference game at Saint Mary's. The Cougars entered the Top 25 this week for the first time since 2006.
"I think every coach when the season starts wants to get 20 wins," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "It's something you aim for. But I've got great players who believe in the system, who believe in each other and believe in me. Tonight was a great example of that. Santa Clara played probably its best game of year, but these kids stuck together and believed in each other."
The Broncos (8-13, 1-7) wasted a near-perfect shooting performance from guard Meagan Fulps, who made her first seven field goal attempts and initial seven free throws before finally missing her last two shots from the floor. She finished with 24 points.
Santa Clara center Lindsay Leo had 14 points and 14 rebounds.
After 16 lead changes in the first half, the Broncos held the lead for most of the second half. Santa Clara had a 58-53 advantage with 6:56 remaining but Brigham Young scored six straight points to take a 59-58 lead with 4:18 left. The Broncos were still as close as 63-61 with 3:12 remaining but the Cougars made 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to help pull away.
UTAH STATE 78, IDAHO 70: At Moscow, Idaho, a 22-2 Utah State (13-7, 4-1) run that turned a 25-24 Idaho (5-16, 0-5) lead into a 46-27 Utah State advantage just before halftime proved to be the difference in the game as the Aggies capitalized on 22 Vandal turnovers.
The Aggies hit 47.5 percent (29 of 61) of their field goals, including 6 of 12 from 3-point range.
Devyn Christensen scored 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting, but was held to just three points on 0-of-4 shooting in the second half. Maddy Plunkett hit 2-of-4 3-pointers for the Aggies and finished with 12 points.
IDAHO STATE 54, WEBER STATE 52: At Ogden, poised for a rousing home-court victory with mere seconds remaining, the Wildcats were instead dealt another heartbreaking setback as the league-leading Bengals (16-5, 8-0) scored consecutive baskets in a five-second span.
Trailing by 18 points early in the second half, the Wildcats (2-19, 0-8) stormed back with a dazzling 25-4 run that put the Purple-and-White in front by three with 5:37 remaining.
"I am very proud of our girls for battling back," Weber State coach Bethann Ord said. "We fought hard and gave ourselves a chance to win."
Idaho State tied the game up on Kaela Oakes' jumper with 1:15 remaining, with Weber State going back ahead 52-49 on a 3-pointer by Megan Patterson with 57 seconds left.
The Bengals missed two attempts to tie it from behind the arc, but pulled down offensive rebounds on both attempts and went to the line with 27 seconds left, with Chelsea Pickering splitting a pair to make it a two-point game.
Idaho State fouled Shawnte Taylor on the inbounds play, but Taylor missed the front-end of the 1-and-1 attempt and Pickering scored with 16 seconds left to tie the game. On the inbounds attempt, the Wildcats stepped on the baseline, turning the ball over and Lindsey Reed scored immediately after inbounding the ball to put Idaho State in front with 11 seconds left.
Weber State's final attempt, a 12-foot jumper by Taylor, came up short with a second left to end the game.
Junior forward Amanda Hughes led Weber State with 15 points and 11 rebounds, her fourth consecutive double-double, and seventh of the season overall.
Taylor added 13 points and five rebounds for the Wildcats, while senior guard Caela Mohre had eight points and five assists.
Idaho State was led by Pickering's 12 points and seven rebounds. The Bengals led 37-19 at halftime, but shot just 22.6 percent from the field in the second half.
The Wildcats shot 52.2 percent from the field in the second half, and held the Bengals to just nine points through the opening 17 minutes final period.
Weber State will return to action on Thursday night against Portland State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. MST at the Stott Center.
SOUTH DAKOTA 68, SUU 40: At Cedar City, the Thunderbirds had one of their lowest offensive outputs of the season as the Coyotes held SUU (5-16, 1-9) to just 27 percent shooting in the game while scoring 13 3-point field goals to come away with the victory.
The first two-and-half minutes of the game passed without a score until Tayler Anderson knocked down a three pointer from the wing to put SUU on the board. After a slow start on offense, South Dakota (13-6, 5-5) got things going from the outside, hitting four consecutive shots from behind the arc to jump out to an 18-8 advantage.
The Coyotes continued their hot shooting from beyond the arc throughout the opening half, connecting on seven of their 14 attempts to take a 34-18 lead at the break.
South Dakota got 13 first-half points from senior guard Annie Roche who was 3-of-6 from three to start the game. Carli Moreland pulled down six rebounds to go along with six points for SUU during the first twenty minutes.
The two teams traded baskets early on in the second until the Coyotes pushed their advantage to 20 on a jumper by Amber Hegge. Southern Utah made several attempts to narrow the deficit but South Dakota held a 34-22 scoring advantage in the second half to pull away.
"It was one of those games where everything that could go wrong, went wrong,"? said SUU head coach JR Payne. "We weren't aggressive enough and didn't get looks inside."
The Thunderbirds held Hegge to just eight points in the game, well below her team best average of 18.3. Roche filled in with 16 points while going 4-of-7 from the 3-point line. Moreland would be the only T-Bird to reach the double figures after finishing with 10 points in the contest.
Southern Utah held a 42-34 edge on the boards, but turned the ball over 23 times. South Dakota made only five trips to the free-throw line in the game, but connected on 13 threes, the highest total of any SUU opponent this season.
"We have a game coming up on Monday and now we just have to regroup and get ready,"? said Payne. "Everybody has to play more and contribute more."
The T-Birds will wrap up their four-game homestand this Monday as they play host to UMKC. SUU will tip things off against the 'Roos at 7 p.m. in the Centrum Arena.
UTAH VALLEY 61, NJIT 54: At Newark, N.J., the Wolverines trailed by 10 with 15:16 to play, but answered with a huge 25-4 run over the next 13 minutes. Sammie Jensen led the Wolverines with another double-double, this time finishing with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds.
"This is a very satisfying win for us," said UVU women's head basketball coach Cathy Nixon. "The end of the first half had the same pattern as when we fell behind at Chicago State [Thursday night], and I was concerned at the start of the second half. But I was very pleased with the way the girls responded and for us to close out this difficult road trip with a win is big for us."
UVU's second-half run came on the heels of an equally impressive run from NJIT, as the homestanding Highlanders responded to an 8-point first-half deficit with a 19-3 rally, capped by back-to-back-to-back treys, to take a 29-21 lead at the break. NJIT then ripped off seven consecutive points early in the second period to build a 10-point cushion, its largest lead of the game, with 15:16 remaining.
At that point, the Wolverines came alive as Erika Newbold drilled an 18-footer then converted a layup inside to ignite UVU's rally. The run, powered by a stalwart defensive effort and solid post play from Newbold and Jensen, saw the Wolverines limit NJIT to just two field goals and force seven turnovers over a 13-minute span. Newbold scored eight of her 13 points during the pivotal stretch, while Jensen added four. UVU also got six points apiece from Cydne Mason and Whitney Jenkins, whose right-handed runner in transition culminated the series and gave UVU a 51-40 advantage.
NJIT kept things interesting, getting jumpers from Sarah Olson and Melanie Griffin in the closing moments, but the Wolverines put the game away at the foul line on their way to shooting 26-for-35 for the game at the charity stripe, compared to only four total free throw attempts for NJIT.
Three Wolverines finished in double figures, led by Jensen's 21 and followed by Newbold's 13 and Jenkins' 11. Mason also added eight points and Abbie Beutler scored five. Jensen also grabbed 12 rebounds in the contest, while Jenkins finished with six.
NJIT was led by Rayven Johnson's double-double performance of 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
UVU now returns to Orem for a four game homestand beginning Thursday when Texas-Pan American visits the UCCU Center. That game is slated for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Wolverines will then host Houston Baptist the following Saturday afternoon in the Activity Center.
NO. 10 NORTH IDAHO 67, SLCC 51: At Taylorsville, the Bruins (10-9, 1-5) held a five-point lead at halftime, but 42 second-half points by North Idaho was too much to overcome. Sophia Hepworth led the SLCC scoring attack with 22 points and seven rebounds. Diamond Marchand and Fawn Brady each added 11 points in the loss. Salt Lake was outrebounded 47-29 by North Idaho with 21 offensive rebounds. The Bruins will host Southern Idaho Sunday in Bruin Arena with tipoff set for 3 p.m.