Cassie Broadhead hit two clutch free throws with 1.8 seconds left to give BYU women’s basketball a 65-63 victory over Portland at the Marriott Center on Thursday.
"It was a tough game," BYU women's basketball head coach Jeff Judkins said. "I thought defensively we did a good job at the end. You have to give a lot of credit to a kid who hasn't played a lot of minutes this year, Cassie Broadhead, making that play with the game tied."
Morgan Bailey led the Cougars in scoring with 17 points to go along with 12 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals. Lexi Eaton scored 16 points and tallied eight rebounds, while Makenzi Morrison chipped in 10 points hitting 2-of-4 shots from beyond the arc.
After winning the tipoff, the Cougars (20-8, 12-5 West Coast Conference) scored on their first possession of the game when Bailey hit a cutting Xojian Harry in the paint for an uncontested layup. Following an Eaton wing 3-pointer on its second possession of the game, BYU scored only one basket during the next seven minutes in the first half falling behind 15-7 to Portland (4-24, 2-15 WCC).
Eaton drove baseline for a layup at the 11:32 mark, ending the 12-2 Portland run and sparking a 9-2 run for the Cougars to cut the Pilot lead to one, 17-16.
With 51 seconds left in the first half, BYU took its first lead since the 18:48 mark when Eaton converted a three-point play making a five-foot jumper while being fouled. After the ensuing free throw, the Cougars led 30-29.
BYU held a 32-29 lead at the break with Eaton leading the way with 16 points, converting on 6-of-10 shots from the field. Eaton was also active on the glass pulling down seven rebounds.
Portland began the second half much like the first half going on a 10-2 run to take a 39-34 lead two minutes in to the half. Harry buried a straight-away 3-pointer, and a left-handed finger roll by Bailey a minute later tied the game up, 39-39, with 16:37 left in the half.
The Cougars took a 45-44 lead with a Morrison 3-pointer assisted by Kylie Maeda with 12:05 left in the half. Less than 30 seconds later, Maeda’s corner 3-pointer put BYU up 50-46. Morrison and Maeda’s shots sparked a 19-7 run that gave the Cougars a 10-point lead with 6:03 left in the game.
The Pilots fought back during the final five minutes with a 12-2 run that tied the game at 63 with 13.8 seconds left. With five seconds left, Broadhead received a pass on the left wing, drove left past the Portland defender and drew a foul with 1.3 seconds left. Broadhead drained the following two free throws to put the Cougars back up by two. A deep 3-point shot by Portland as time expired went long, and BYU held on to defeat the Pilots, 65-63.
The Cougars play their final home game of the season against Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143. Live stats will also be available on the BYU women's basketball schedule page.