ROSEMONT, Ill. — The BYU women's basketball team came up just short in a first-round NCAA Tournament game, falling 59-55 to DePaul at the All-State Arena Saturday evening.
The Cougars fought back from a late, eight-point deficit and had a chance to tie, but Haley Steed's 3-point try with five seconds left bounced off the back of the rim.
With the loss, BYU finishes the season 26-7. DePaul will go on to play Tennessee Monday night in the second round.
The Cougars had trouble shooting all night, finishing just 33.9 percent from the field. Only sophomore center Jennifer Hamson found her range, hitting 9 of 13 shots and finishing with a game-high 21 points. Kristen Riley added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
DePaul was led by Anna Martin with 17 points.
The Cougars had led 29-27 at halftime, but DePaul came out on fire in the second half, scoring 14 straight points, while the Cougars failed on thier first 10 possessions.
BYU got back into the game when Haley Steed made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 45-40 with 8:21 left. The Cougars pulled within four on a 3-pointer by Stephanie Vermunt with 3:26 left.
DePaul pushed the lead back to eight at 56-48 and the Cougars looked dead when they missed four straight shots inside of 5 feet. However, after a DePaul miss, Hamson scored five straight points to cut the lead to three and the Cougars had one last chance to tie it.
In the first half, the Cougars fell behind 10-1 early, only to come back to take a 25-20 lead before settling for the 29-27 halftime edge.