PROVO – Behind a career night from sophomore Lexi Eaton and a strong second half from senior Jennifer Hamson, BYU beat Washington State, 80-73, on Tuesday.
“That was a very good team we played tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “They change their defenses a lot from a matchup zone to a zone to man-to-man and it’s hard to get a rhythm.”
Eaton had career-highs with 27 points and nine rebounds. Hamson added 20 points, with 18 coming in the second half, and eight rebounds. Kim Beeston added season-highs of 21 points and seven assists. Her four 3-pointers put her into the sixth spot in career threes, ahead of Thais Kidd.
“I thought tonight Lexi played a really nice game for us,” Judkins said. “She was aggressive offensively and really helped us in the first half when we had a hard time getting the ball inside to Jen and Morgan (Bailey).”
BYU shot 44.3 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from behind the arc. The blue Cougars had 23 assists on 27 baskets. The defense held Washington State to 16.7 percent from behind the arc.
With BYU leading 62-51, Washington State went on a 12-1 run to tie the game at 63. BYU answered with an 8-2 run to give the Cougars a 71-65 lead. It was all the cushion they would need to take the game.
After falling behind 4-3, BYU started a 9-2 run, led by six points from Eaton, to take the 12-6 lead. Washington State answered with a 16-4 run to grab a six-point lead of its own. Eaton once again led the blue Cougars on a 10-0 run with two 3-pointers to take the lead, 28-24. BYU and Washington State battled to the end of the half, and the blue Cougars held on to lead, 37-32.
Eaton led BYU with 16 points and five rebounds, while Kim Beeston added 10 points and three assists. The blue Cougars shot 43.8 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the three-point line while holding Washington State to 37.1 percent shooting from the floor and 22.2 percent from three.
Eaton continued her hot shooting in the second half, opening with nine of BYU’s first 16 points to lead the blue Cougars to their first double-digit lead of the game at 53-42.
BYU returns to action Saturday against Arizona at 2 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv.
Spencer Shamo is a Communications major at BYU and the BYU softball SID.