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BYU basketball: Eaton nets career highs over Waves in Judkins' 300th victory

Lexi Eaton led BYU women's basketball past Pepperdine, 77-58, on Thursday night at the Marriott Center for head coach Jeff Judkins' 300th win.

"I'm really excited for this win because it keeps us in the hunt for the conference championship," Judkins said. "It's amazing that I've been here that long to get 300 wins. I've had so many great memories here at BYU. Lexi showed tonight why she's not only one of the best players in the conference but in the whole country."

In 14 seasons at the helm of the Cougars, Judkins has now compiled a 300-138 overall record.

Eaton led BYU with a career high in points (37) and rebounds (14) to go along with five assists. Morgan Bailey added 12 points, all from the second half, as well as eight boards. Makenzi Morrison contributed 10 points and five assists, while Kylie Maeda added a team-high eight assists in the Cougar win.

Pepperdine (6-17, 1-11 West Coast Conference) collected the first four points of the game from the charity stripe to take an early 4-0 advantage. BYU (18-5, 10-2 WCC) countered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Morrison and Xojian Harry to take an 8-7 edge.

The teams traded points from there with an Eaton layup tying the game at 15 apiece. Maeda hit an outside shot — assisted by Eaton — to put her team up 20-17, forcing a Waves timeout.

Eaton scored the next eight points for the Cougars, including consecutive treys, to extend BYU's advantage to eight. That was followed by a Micaelee Orton transition bucket to put the Cougars up by 10, 30-20, forcing another timeout from Pepperdine.

The scoring went back and forth until the end of the half as Orton drained a shot at the buzzer to keep BYU in front by double digits, 36-26. Eaton had a near double-double at the intermission with 24 points and eight boards.

Orton scored three of the Cougars' first five points coming out of the break to give her a new career high in that category and put BYU up 41-28. Morrison then completed a three-point play to extend the Cougar lead to 18 at 48-30 as part of an 8-2 BYU run.

Both teams took turns scoring baskets following the Cougar rally as an Eaton free throw extended BYU's advantage at 64-41 and tied her previous career high in points. The Waves followed by making five of their next six shots while limiting the Cougars to 1-of-6 shooting in the same stretch.

BYU stayed composed, however, maintaining its near 20-point advantange through the end of the game, eventually winning 77-58.

The Cougars return to the Marriott Center on Saturday to face off against Loyola Marymount at 2 p.m. MST. The game will be streamed live on Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women's basketball schedule page.

Royce Hinton is the men's and women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.