Morgan Bailey’s second straight double-double led BYU women’s basketball to a 55-52 victory over Euskadi, the Basque National Team. With the win, the Cougars improved their record to 2-0 on their tour through Spain.
Bailey had game highs in points with 22 and in rebounds with 11. Naiara Diez led the EUS team with 13 points, while Laura Arroyo and Miren Agirregoikoa pulled down five boards each. In this second international game, the teams played four, 10-minute quarters with an eight-minute halftime break.
“I thought we did some really good things defensively tonight and our guards played really well,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “The starters set a better tone for us and we saw some good positive things. Morgan played really well especially at the beginning of the game. Savannah, Cassie and Alohi also had good performances.”
Up by five, 29-24 at the break, the Cougars dominated the third quarter, going on a 9-0 run that extended their lead to 12 at 38-26 with 4:45 remaining. Ashley Garfield scored her only basket in the game to start the third quarter. Then, after a couple of missed scoring opportunities for BYU, Bailey got the Cougars back on track as she put up the next five points off a three-point play and a layup.
With 2:30 left in the quarter, redshirt freshman Cassie Broadhead grabbed a rebound and took the ball coast-to-coast for two, giving BYU a 15-point cushion, 45-30. EUS’s Maria Asumendi cut the lead to 13 with a layup of her own the next time down the court. Kristine Fuller went to the line for two on the Cougars' next possession and then followed it up with a basket of her own after a EUS turnover with 1:30 left. The Basque team got the ball back twice before the end of the quarter but only picked up one of two free-throw attempts in both times down the court. BYU was up by 16, 49-33, heading into the final 10-minute quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to the EUS team as it clawed its way back into the game, cutting the lead to within six at 51-45 with just over three minutes left in the contest. Alohi Robins-Hardy put the Cougars back up by eight, 53-45, with 2:50 left on the clock. But with just 52.5 seconds remaining, Diez closed the gap to within three with a 3-pointer to make it 53-50. Kylie Maeda put BYU back up by five, 55-50 on a shot with just 33.4 left. EUS had the ball in the final seconds, but the Cougars’ defensive pressure kept the opponent out of three-point range and EUS had to settle for a two-point bucket to close out the game, giving BYU the three-point victory.
The teams played scoreless for the opening two minutes of the contest before Lexi Eaton scored the first points of the game with a trey at 8:45 into the first quarter. BYU quickly gained an 8-2 lead off back-to-back Bailey baskets. At the 6:45 mark, the Cougars were up 12-5, with nine of the points coming from Bailey. Despite a slow start by the EUS team, it was able to chip away at the Cougar lead and was only down by two, 14-12, after the first 10-minute quarter.
With 7:47 left in the second quarter, Fuller put BYU up, 17-13, on her first basket of the game. With a three-point play by Eaton after a missed opportunity by EUS, the Cougars were up, 20-13, with just under six minutes remaining before the break.
In the closing seconds of the quarter and with a 27-24 lead, Xojian Harry got her own rebound after a missed layup and converted on her second attempt to send BYU into the locker room up by five, 29-24.
Eaton was the only other BYU player to score in double digits with 10. She pulled down five rebounds and tied for most assists with three. Maeda also dished out three assists, grabbed two boards and scored two points.
Broadhead had eight rebounds, two assists and two points on the night. Robins-Hardy contributed three points and five boards in the BYU win. Savannah Irwin pulled down eight boards with teammate Makenzi Morrison grabbing two rebounds and tallying four points. Fuller finished the game with six points and two boards.
For the game, the Cougars shot 36 percent from the field, 58 percent from the free-throw line and 13 percent from beyond the arc. The Basque team shot 30 percent from the field, 55 percent from the charity stripe and 26 percent from beyond the arc. BYU had the advantage in the rebound category pulling down 56 to EUS’s 36 and in points in the paint, 30 to 22. The EUS team edged out BYU in points scored off turnovers, 14 to 4.
The Cougars play this same EUS team Friday night in Bilbao and have one final game scheduled for Monday night in Madrid.
Royce Hinton is the assistant women's basketball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.