BYU women lose

BYU Women's Final: Cougars not as sharp as Friday, falling for 3rd time to Gonzaga

2013-03-10T00:25:00Z 2013-09-02T09:07:26Z BYU Women's Final: Cougars not as sharp as Friday, falling for 3rd time to GonzagaJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
March 10, 2013 12:25 am  • 

LAS VEGAS — It's obvious what BYU's women's basketball team needs to work on in the offseason.

It's also obvious who the Cougars need to get back.

Gonzaga hassled the Cougars into 22 turnovers, and it's not like BYU did itself many favors when it could get shots off during the 62-43 loss.

The West Coast Conference semifinal defeat made GU 3-for-3 in the series this season.

"They're uncomfortable putting it on the floor," Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said.

BYU coach Jeff Judkins would have to agree. BYU didn't have anyone who could get to the rim, scare a defense, and that let the Zags have their way all over the floor.

"They locked onto our wings, they front (center, Jennifer) Hamson and got physical and hope the refs don't call it," Judkins said. "And they lock on Haley (Steed) full-court, try and wear her down."

The checklist worked, to a "T" — as in the normally tame Judkins getting a late technical. Frustration about a particular moment set him off for a second.

BYU was successful with 3-pointers in its Friday win against Loyola Marymount, but that was a situation where the Lions just wanted to get the ball out of Steed's hands. Open shots were going to happen. So did made ones on that afternoon.

The No. 4-seed Cougars playing back-to-back games, whereas No. 1 Gonzaga hadn't played in a week, wore down.

Surprisingly, BYU had a 14-12 edge on points off turnovers, despite forcing nine fewer mistakes.

BYU missed 14-of-16 3-pointers (GU fared no better, 2-of-16).

More open shots may come in the future, assuming the Cougars gets players like Lexi Eaton, Kylie Maeda and Stephanie Rovetti — all of whom suffered severe knee injuries.

Eaton helped light up GU last year, as BYU won the WCC tournament championship game with the then-freshman's attacking help.

BYU played from behind most of the afternoon, but came within 18-17 on a rare chance at a driving layup, by Ashley Garfield.

GU closed the final four minutes on a 12-2 run and BYU went another two-plus minutes in the next half without producing another basket.

"We let down a little bit," Judkins said. "It was tough to come back. They do a great job of executing."

BYU was led by Morgan Bailey, who had 12 points in 13 minutes off the bench.

BYU's starters made just 8-of-35 shots.

Steed, in possibly her last game unless the 21-10 Cougars get an NIT bid, had eight points on 3-of-11 accuracy. She added seven rebounds and three assists, but also three turnovers.

"A lot of little things didn't go our way," BYU center Jennifer Hamson said.

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