We didn’t come out ready to play tonight, and I don’t know the reason for that. I don’t know if it’s because we think we can just show up and beat people. But we've got to come out with more intensity than we did tonight if we hope to win games in this league. —BYU coach Jeff Judkins
PROVO — Bad habits often catch up with you. The BYU women's basketball team learned that lesson the hard way Thursday night, losing 75-62 to conference foe Pacific.
The visiting Tigers used a barrage of 3-pointers to build a comfortable lead in the first half and to finish the Cougars off late in the second.
“You have to give Pacific a lot of credit,” said BYU coach Jeff Judkins. “They really played well tonight and they shot the lights out.”
Pacific made four of its first five attempts from the arc and finished 13-27 overall. Guard Sam Pettinger led the way, making four of five attempts and finishing with a team-high 16 points.
In between all the 3-pointers were numerous mental mistakes by BYU, leading to 21 turnovers, lapses in defensive effort and little mistakes that culminated in an unsatisfying effort, according to Judkins.
“We didn’t come out ready to play tonight, and I don’t know the reason for that,” Judkins said. “I don’t know if it’s because we think we can just show up and beat people. But we've got to come out with more intensity than we did tonight if we hope to win games in this league.”
Pacific led from the start, using 9-15 shooting from behind the arc and stellar defensive intensity to lead 38-29 at the half.
The Tigers built the lead to 43-29 to start the second before the Cougars came roaring back. A 13-3 run cut the lead to just 46-42 with 9:37 left before a 3-pointer from Hallie Eackles killed the momentum.
With time expiring on the shot clock, Eackles found herself wide open for the shot that extended the lead to 49-42.
“There’s a lot of baskets they made tonight with the shot clock running down,” Judkins said. “We have to do a better job of guarding for 30 seconds and not giving up those kind of shots.”
Subsequent 3-point baskets by Pettinger and then Eackles put the Tigers up 55-46 with 6:40 remaining and put the Cougars squarely on their heels.
Every effort the Cougars gave was put back as the team struggled to find consistency.
“There’s spurts where we play great and play together as a team and then there’s spurts where we try to do it individually and don't do the little things,” said guard Kim Beeston. “Good teams like this — if you don’t do the little things then you don’t win.”
Beeston contributed 15 points with center Jen Hamson leading the team with 22. Forward Ashley Garfield had a team-high 15 rebounds.
Next up for the Cougars is a home game against St. Mary's Saturday at the Marriott Center.