BYU women's BB

BYU Women's Hoops: Bailey, Cougs breeze past Pepperdine in WCC quarterfinal despite 21 turnovers

2014-03-07T18:45:00Z 2014-03-07T20:12:43Z BYU Women's Hoops: Bailey, Cougs breeze past Pepperdine in WCC quarterfinal despite 21 turnoversJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
March 07, 2014 6:45 pm  • 

LAS VEGAS — Morgan Bailey's frustration with herself could be heard a couple of times in a fairly quiet Orleans Arena.

The BYU forward missed a free throw and vented Friday afternoon. She missed an inside shot, and again was exasperated with herself.

Now that's competitive, because the West Coast Conference quarterfinal she played in sure wasn't.

The Cougars defeated overmatched and slightly fatigued Pepperdine, 77-51, to advance to Monday's semifinal.

Despite 21 turnovers, it was Bailey's 17 points — shared for the team high with Lexi Eaton — that was more than enough to breeze past the Waves, who at 6-24 had won just two of their 19 tries against WCC teams.

The last one came Thursday in a first-round game, but that would basically be the end of the road.

BYU scored eight of the first 10 points, including a pair of easy inside baskets from Bailey to start.

"We made a statement for ourselves," Eaton said after the Cougars limited awfully quick-shooting Pepperdine into 8-of-34 accuracy, including 4-of-18 from 3-point range."We played really well defensively. And when we do that, we have a better chance of getting any shot we want. And then we're pretty tough to stop."

BYU (25-5) has won nine consecutive games.

"They don't care who gets the glory," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "They just play together. We're playing with a lot of confidence right now."

It even comes when double-double machine Jennifer Hamson, recently pegged byt the 10 WCC coaches as the league's top overall player and defender, finds foul trouble.

Hamson picked up her second whistle with 6:15 left in the first half, seeking an offensive rebound.

Sure, BYU led 28-12 at the time. But there wasn't any let-up, either.

Bailey hit a couple of free throws on BYU's next possession. She kept being aggressive, though it caused some consternation. She missed two free-throw tries near the four-minute mark, but BYU secured a rebound, got the ball back to her and she made 1-of-2 for an 18-point lead.

"Remain calm, move the ball around more," Bailey said when asked how the team handles Hamson being on the bench. "We've been in that situation before."

Hamson still had 13 points, 12 rebounds. Bailey added eight boards.

Judkins praised a variety of players for performing well. Kim Beeston had 10 points and Xojian Harry hit her two 3-point attempts to finish with six.

Ashley Garfield is who the coach considers the heart of the team — just three points but also 13 rebounds in 19 minutes. She also had two rebounds off teammates' missed free throws.

BYU surrendered the first seven points of the second half, its lead cut to 42-29. But it countered with a 7-0 run, as well.

The glaring concern — sure to be rehashed during the next couple days of practices in town — was the 21 turnovers.

BYU's played two games in two weeks, because of how the schedule worked out. Rust was the buzz word. But it has to be fixed. Pepperdine guard Ea Shoushtari, who posted a career best in points Thursday against Santa Clara, had a WCC tournament record eight steals against the Cougars.

"If it's a different team, they might come back," Eaton said.

That team could be Pacific, for sure.

The league-newcomer Tigers, the No. 3 seed that cruised past No. 6 Portland, 84-72, in the earlier game Friday.

UP's KiKi Moore had a game-high 28 points, including 12-of-14 at the foul line as the Pilots continued to foul despite a deficit that hovered around 14 in the closing seven minutes.

BYU lost against Pacific on Jan. 2 (75-62) at the Marriott Center, but recovered to win the rematch, 88-57, 30 days later.

Hamson broke her nose in the loss but before that still scored 22 points, including 15 of BYU's first 17 in the second half. Bailey also missed BYU's loss to UP.

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