With only one game this last week, the Cougars needed a win to keep pace with Saint Mary's for 2nd place in the WCC. Gonzaga is still undefeated in the WCC, leaving everyone else to battle for 2nd. The only game of the week was against a talented San Diego team, that was tied with the Cougars at 6-2 in the conference, in the Marriott Center on Saturday.
The afternoon game lived up to its billing as it provided the attending fans a fantastic cornucopia of everything basketball, including a one possession game in the last seconds. Xojian Harry had a career night as she finished the game with 15 points, on 5-7 shooting, four rebounds and three assists. Included in the 15 points was a key three pointer late in the game, and shooting 4-4 from the free throw line in the final minute. Lexi Eaton add 16 points and Morgan Bailey provided 13 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in the win.
The teams played close in the first half with three lead changes and five ties in the first half alone, but the Cougars were able to pull away just before halftime after holding the Toreros scoreless for a five minute stretch. The 30-21 lead for the Cougars came off of 50% shooting for the Cougars, while San Diego shot only 27% for the half.
The intensity increased in the second half as San Diego forced their comeback early, pulling within one with just under 11 minutes left in the game. The Cougars found themselves on the wrong end of the scoring drought this time as they went almost six minutes without scoring. BYU would once again build their lead to five with four minutes left, but couldn't create any further distance. The Toreros would once again pull within one, 46-45, before an Eaton bucket and six Cougar free-throws helped put San Diego away. The Toreros would have a chance with seconds on the clock and the Cougars up by two, but the three point shot went awry and the Cougars were fouled and went to the line. With the win the Cougars are now 15-5 on the year and 7-2 in the WCC, and are tied with Saint Mary's for 2nd place. San Diego dropped to third in the conference.
The Cougars will open the second half of the WCC season on Thursday January 29th at 8pm MST against San Francisco on the road. The Cougars will then travel to Santa Clara for a 3pm MST start on Saturday the 31st. Neither game will be televised but the San Francisco game can be seen on theW.tv.