We played a really balanced game today, and that's what we wanted to see. —BYU head coach Jeff Judkins
Makenzi Morrison led BYU women's basketball to an 81-62 win against Butler on Wednesday to begin play in the Tom Weston Invitational.
"We played a really balanced game today, and that's what we wanted to see," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Ashley (Garfield) played well for us and it was good to see Kylie (Maeda) shoot the ball better today. Makenzi came in and gave us a huge lift in the second half."
Morrison led the Cougars with a career-high 16 points from 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 treys. Morgan Bailey had a team-high eight rebounds to go along with 14 points for a near double-double. Kylie Maeda led the team in assists with six while also contributing a season-high 13 points. Lexi Eaton rounded out the double-digit scoring, adding 14 and five rebounds.
BYU (2-2) outrebounded the Bulldogs, 38-26, and had a 24-10 assist advantage. Additionally, the Cougars shot 55 percent from the floor compared to just 37 percent for Butler (0-5).
Butler got the first points of the game off a 3-pointer, but BYU came storming back with a put-back jumper from Ashley Garfield to make the score 3-2. The two teams traded points from there until Eaton hit her first 3-pointer of the game at the 15:30 mark to give the Cougars a four-point edge, 13-9.
The Bulldogs were undeterred, however, as Butler's Loryn Goodwin scored consecutive buckets to put her team back up by two at 15-13 with 12:43 left to play in the half. BYU ensued with a 14-0 run, led by 3-pointers from Maeda and Morrison, to help the Cougars retake the lead with a 12-point advantage at 27-15.
Both sides went back-and-forth in scoring for the rest of the half. Garfield hit a 3-pointer with six seconds left to give BYU its largest lead to that point, 41-26, at the intermission.
Bailey got things started again for the Cougars to begin the second half, scoring on a jump shot to extend BYU's advantage to 17 at 43-26. A few buckets later, Morrison drained a pair of shots from beyond the arc to put the Cougars up 53-31, forcing Butler to take a timeout with 16:20 left in the game.
A pair of Eaton buckets then extended BYU's lead past the 30-point mark at 65-33 with 14:06 left. With the advantage, the Cougars were then able to give playing time to those who get lesser minutes.
The Bulldogs began to bridge the gap with an 8-2 rally that was quickly stopped by a Xojian Harry shot with 6:24 left, making the score 75-50. Butler slowly brought itself within 16 at 77-61 with 2:36 left, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get as BYU took the game, 81-62.
The Cougars continue play in the Tom Weston Invitational on Thursday when they face off against BYU-Hawaii at 3 p.m. HST. Links to live stats can be found on the BYU women's basketball schedule page.
Royce Hinton is the assistant women's basketball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.