Despite having three starters score in double figures, BYU women’s basketball fell, 76-71, in overtime to Saint Mary’s on the road Thursday night.
"This was a tough loss," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We had our opportunities to win and didn't take advantage of them. We have to do a better job making baskets when the game is close, and we also had some breakdowns defensively so we need to improve there as well."
Lexi Eaton led all scorers with 23 points. She also dished out four assists and grabbed three rebounds. Makenzi Morrison had 18 points, including four treys. Leading all players in rebounds, Morgan Bailey had 15 boards to go with her 16 points and six assists.
Overtime began with Eaton driving and scoring a layup for the early BYU (19-6, 11-3 West Coast Conference) lead, but the Gaels (17-7, 10-3 WCC) scored five points to go up 69-66. A deep two from Morrison had BYU take back the lead, 71-69, with 1:48 left in overtime. Saint Mary’s came back, making key free throws down the stretch and forcing late turnovers, to take the 76-71 victory.
The Cougars had a slow start in the first half, scoring their first points off a 3-pointer from Xojian Harry after two minutes of play to make it 3-3, tying the Gaels.
BYU warmed up after Kylie Maeda drilled a trey to break a three-minute scoring drought. A jump shot from Eaton with 11:41 left in the half pushed the Cougars’ lead to 18-11.
Morrison caught fire in the first half, shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, including a three to get the largest lead of the half, 36-23, with 4:05 remaining. She had 13 points in just the first half to lead all scorers.
The Gaels chipped away at the lead, holding the Cougars to just two points from Maeda in the last four minutes of the half. BYU had a 38-32 lead going into the break. The Cougars made eight 3-pointers and dished out 14 assists after the first 20 minutes of action.
The second half began where it left off with Saint Mary’s cutting into the lead, getting within one of BYU, 38-37. Another three from Morrison with 16:23 left held the Gaels at bay, but they eventually took the 59-58 lead over the Cougars after seven minutes of play in the second half.
The two teams stayed close, trading buckets, until a putback by Bailey sparked BYU. The team went on an 8-0 run to go up 64-56, capped off by a fadeaway jumper by Eaton with 5:05 left in the game.
The Cougars were held scoreless for five minutes, allowing the Gaels to get back into the game, closing in on the lead. With one minute remaining, BYU was clinging to a 64-62 lead. Saint Mary’s Carli Rosenthal scored a layup to tie the game up with 20 seconds left. Bailey forced a three to win it, but the shot was off the mark, leading to overtime.
BYU’s road trip continues Saturday against Pacific at 2 pm. PST. The game will be broadcast live on BYU Radio and on the Internet at theW.tv. Live stats will be available on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.