The NC State game plan called for the Wolfpack to limit Jennifer Hamson on the offensive side of the ball, and it worked for in the first half. However, NC State did not anticipate the tremendous presence Hamson was on the defensive side of the ball, or the offensive output by Lexi Eaton and her teammates. With a convincing 72-57 win against the 5th seeded Wolfpack, the Cougars will continue their NCAA Tournament run on Monday against 4th seeded Nebraska.
The story of the first half was the 17 points by Eaton and Hamson being held scoreless. What Hamson didn't contribute in points, she made up for on defense. In the first half she blocked five shots and caused others to be rushed or altered. The game was close until near the end of the half as BYU ended on an 11-2 run to take a 33-26 lead. The Cougars defense held the Wolfpack to just 23% shooting as they only hit 8 of 34 from the field.
NC State looked to start the second half strong as they stayed within five with over 16 minutes to go but the Cougars would pull away with a 24-8 run over the next 11 minutes. During the run Hamson scored eight of her twelve second half points. At one point the Cougars led by 21 points and never looked back. The Cougars defense again played tough and kept the Wolfpack to a season worst 27.4% from the field for the game. Hamson ended with 12 points, 19 rebounds and nine blocks. Lexi Eaton added eight rebounds and four assists to her 25 points. Morgan Bailey also had a tremendous game as she added 13 points and 12 rebounds to the stat sheet.
BYU will face the 4th seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers on Monday at 9 pm EDT on ESPN2. The game will be played at the campus of UCLA.