BYU Women

Beeston's 3-pointers spark BYU women's basketball past Pepperdine

2013-01-13T00:25:00Z 2013-11-06T21:45:30Z Beeston's 3-pointers spark BYU women's basketball past PepperdineJared Lloyd - Daily Herald Daily Herald
January 13, 2013 12:25 am  • 

BYU junior guard Kim Beeston had just seen Pepperdine senior guard Shay Cooney-Williams knock down her second straight 3-pointer, cutting a 10-point Cougar halftime lead to just 31-26.

Not only that, Beeston had BYU head coach Jeff Judkins yelling at her from the sidelines to get up and not give that shot to Cooney-Williams.

But redemption would be sweet.

Beeston turned out to be the open player on the next Cougar possession, so she stepped up and drained a huge 3-pointer. Then she did it again.

Those two treys sparked a 15-0 BYU run that put Saturday afternoon's West Coast Conference game at the Marriott Center out of reach for the Waves. The Cougars pulled away to get the 68-42 win and remain unbeaten in league play.

"I heard Judkin yelling for me to get out on her and I knew I’d messed up," Beeston said. "But I wasn’t determined to shoot. I just got open and was able to make it. That type of thing builds your confidence so when the next shot comes, you’re more ready."

Judkins said that if that first Beeston shot had been off the mark, he might've thought about getting someone else in.

"Kim knows better than to let her (Cooney-Williams) shoot that," he explained. "She knew that if she didn't hit that shot, I might've pulled her out. But she's a gutsy player who knows what she needs to do. She's one of the players who want the pressure."

Beeston, who had a tough time getting her shot to go in the first half, ended up leading a balanced BYU scoring effort with 15 points.

"Because of the traveling, I felt like I needed to use my legs a little more," she said. "The coaches told me at the half that I was pushing the ball instead of shooting it up. I focused on that during warmups for the second half."

The Cougars also got 12 points and nine assists from senior point guard Haley Steed, who leads the nation with almost eight assists per game.

"This team has so many weapons it's easy for me," Steed said. "When you have four players who can score, with two shooters on the 3-point line and two post players who can score with their back to the basket, it's easier to pass. This isn't a team where one person needs to score."

Judkins said not only was Steed running the offense but she was also shooting well.

"Steed was feeling it tonight," he explained. "I probably should've run more plays to get her shots but it's hard when you are trying to spread things around."

BYU got off to a strong start and built a double-digit lead midway through the first half. Pepperdine rallied a little bit and closed to 30-20 at the break.

That set the stage for Cooney-Williams to cut into the lead with her two 3-pointers, the first banking in from long distance as the shot clock expired.

But Beeston's bombs from beyond the arc were followed by a layup from Cougar junior center Jennifer Hamson, a 3-pointer from BYU sophomore guard Xojian Harry and four straight points from sophomore forward Ashley Garfield to make the score 46-26.

The Waves never threatened after that point as the Cougars pulled away.

"It was a nice win, although we didn't play some of our best basketball," Judkins said. "We had moments where we played well. We can play better but we did enough to win."

BYU got 10 points apiece from Garfield and Hamson, while Hamson also pulled down nine rebounds.

Hamson continues to look to round into top form for the Cougars, as the junior continues to regain her basketball timing after missing the beginning of the hoops season due to also playing volleyball.

"Everyone looks at offensive timing but when she gets the defensive timing back, she'll be a real force," Judkins said. "Right now with her finger injury she doesn't have the grip on the ball she normally has. She's had the ball knocked out and has lost it when shooting in places she never loses it. It's really sore, so hopefully next week it will be a lot better."

Steed said the BYU guards are love having Hamson guarding the rim.

"When you know she's back there, it means you can get out and pressure more," she said. "She had some nasty blocks today and we know it doesn't feel good to get blocked by Jen. It happens sometimes in practice."

The Cougars (12-4, 3-0) now face another big test as they head to Gonzaga, one of the perennial favorites in the league, on Jan. 17.

"We talked about it after the game and said these are the games you practice for all season," Beeston said. "We didn't play our best game up there last season. We want to come out and make a statement bying going out there and getting the win."

Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.

Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or at jlloyd@heraldextra.com. He can also be followed on Twitter at @JaredrLloyd.

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