Freshman Makenzi Morrison came off the bench to spark BYU’s offense in a 65-50 victory over Pepperdine on Monday night in the Marriott Center.
"We came out flat and I think part of it is that we really didn't get a lot of time to prepare for it,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought tonight the zone was very effective. Especially in the second half, I thought we did a really nice job with that. It was good to see Makenzi (Morrison) come in a play well for us and I thought she gave us a good lift. You've got to give Pepperdine a lot of credit. They made us play their game and they came out really ready to play and getting in that early whole was tough."
BYU (12-1, 2-0 WCC) was led in scoring by Lexi Eaton’s 18 points, of which 16 came in the second half. Jennifer Hamson had another strong night with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Morrison added nine points, three assists and three steals for the Cougars.
After Pepperdine (4-9, 0-2 WCC) started the game hitting 5-9 shots, BYU’s defense changed the complexion of the game holding the Waves to 12-49 (24.4 percent) shooting the rest of the way and amassing 12 steals. The Cougars shot 40 percent from the floor and outscored the Waves 18-6 in the paint and 17-2 off the bench.
BYU looked one-dimensional on offense with Hamson scoring 12 of the first 15 points until three-straight 3-pointers from Kim Beeston and Morrison closed the gap to 25-24. After a Wave jumper, Ashley Garfield converted a three-point play to tie the game at 27 to cap off a 12-2 Cougar run with 5:55 left in the half.
The Waves came out on fire opening the game on an 8-0 run shooting a perfect 3-3 from the field before the Cougars settled in and started to hit some shots to keep the game close. Pepperdine extended its lead to double digits on a 7-2 run to put the score at 25-15.
BYU took its first lead of the game at 31-30 after a jumper from Micaelee Orton and a steal and layup from Morrison. The Cougars took the one-point lead into halftime after holding the Waves without a field goal over the last 6:40 of the half.
The Cougars continued their strong defensive play to go on a 10-0 run to take the 43-33 lead with 12:53 left in the game. After Pepperdine closed to within five at 44-39, BYU went on a 12-0 run led by nine points from Eaton to take its largest lead at 56-39 with 6:14 left in the game. During the run, the Waves went 0-5 with five turnovers.
The Cougars will take the court next against Pacific on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live by BYUtv.
Spencer Shamo is a Communications major at BYU and the BYU softball SID.