A key 3-pointer in the closing minutes by Xojian Harry along with a career-high 15 points allowed BYU women’s basketball to hold on against San Diego, 54-50, on Saturday at the Marriott Center.
“I am really happy we got the win tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “This game reminded me so much of Saint Mary's where we had a good lead the first half and played really well defensively but came out a little flat and stood around. I think Xojian's [Harry] 3-pointer that she hit was a big basket for us to kind of take the lid off the basket and loosen us up.”
The Cougars (15-5, 7-2 West Coast Conference) held a nine-point advantage over the Toreros (15-4, 6-3 WCC) to start the second half. Bailey established herself in the paint early in the half by scoring five quick points down low with a left-handed hook shot and a turnaround jumper along the baseline.
BYU suffered a scoring drought for nearly six minutes starting at the 16:00 mark of the second half. The drought allowed the Toreros to get within one point, 37-36.
Bailey ended the drought with 10:41 left when she found Eaton cutting down the lane for a layup that put the Cougars back up three, 39-36.
With just more than four minutes left and BYU leading 43-41, Kylie Maeda drove down the middle of the lane drawing two defenders. Maeda kicked the ball out to a wide open Harry who drained a 3-pointer to give the Cougars a 46-41 edge.
“When we go for a stretch and we are not getting any shots that are falling, the basket seems to get tighter and tighter. So we just needed someone to take the lid off, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time for those,” Harry said.
BYU’s lead was cut to one again at 46-45 when Eaton hit Bailey in stride for a backdoor lay-in with one second left on the shot clock.
On the ensuing possession for San Diego, Makenzi Morrison stole an inbound pass after a timeout and was immediately fouled. Morrison then hit two free throws to extend the lead to five, 50-45, with just more than one minute left.
Harry iced the game with four made free throws in the final minute as BYU held on for the 54-50 victory.
The Cougars led the Toreros at halftime, 30-21. BYU shot 50 percent from the field in the first half compared to San Diego’s 27 percent.
The score was tied five times in the first half with three lead changes. Eaton led all scorers in the half with 10 points to go with four rebounds.
BYU took its first lead of the game at 16-13 when Eaton hit a 3-pointer from the wing at the 10:00 mark of the first half.
The key stretch of the first half began with 7:04 left when BYU closed the half on a 14-4 run while hitting 5-of-6 field goals. During the same stretch, the Cougars clamped down defensively, holding the Toreros to 3-of-16 shooting from the field. San Diego was also held scoreless for five minutes of that stretch.
BYU goes on the road Thursday to face San Francisco. The game tips off at 7 p.m. PST, and will be streamed live online at theW.tv. Live stats will also be available on the BYU women's basketball schedule page.