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Women's basketball: Poised to make a run at WCC leaders

Not every game is a win, but the women's basketball team is still looking strong and could assert their dominance if they're able to handle San Diego next weekend.

Photo by BYU Photo/Todd Wakefield

Over the past week BYU's women's basketball team has had it's ups and downs. Last Saturday they won an overtime thriller against Saint Mary's in the Marriott Center breaking the tie for third place in the conference. They were led again by Lexi Eaton (19 points), Jennifer Hamson (15) and had a surprise 14 points from Kylie Maeda (a career high) who came off the bench but played 34 minutes.

The celebration only lasted until Thursday night when they traveled to Gonzaga and struggled to shoot hitting just 31% from the field and only Eaton scored more than five points (she had 18). The loss put them back in a tie with Saint Mary's for third place in the conference (3-2, 13-3 overall).

The Lady Cougars were back in action today at Portland where they took on the Pilots in the Chiles Center. The Lady Cougars started strong, shooting 7-10 from the three point line and 6-6 from the stripe in the first half and rode a 14 point lead into the break. Through the second half the Cougars got a little sloppy and allowed 14 points off turnovers and only hit one more three pointer, but played just good enough to pull out a 75-68 win. The Cougars were led again by Jennifer Hamson who notched a double-double (21 points, 11 reb.) and strong performances from starters Morgan Bailey (17 points) and Kim Beeston (15).

The Lady Cougars now have a whole week off to prepare for a trip to San Diego to take on the Toreros on the 18th. The Toreros had been unbeaten, achieved a #24 national ranking and had led the WCC until two big games this week when they lost at Portland and Saturday when they traveled to Spokane and lost to Gonzaga. The Toreros might be humbled and vulnerable or they might be filled with fire and seeking revenge when the Cougars visit next Saturday. Both teams have the whole week off to prepare, and this may well be a game that helps set the pecking order in the WCC this season. Either way, it is sure to be a great game from two teams with a shot at West Coast Conference dominance. We're proud of the play of the Lady Cougars so far and wish them the best on their week off.