BYU Women's basketball vs. Gonzaga 22

Brigham Young University head coach Jeff Judkins talks with guard Paisley Johnson (13) during a game between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Gonzaga University Bulldogs held Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at the Marriott Center in Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

BYU head women’s basketball coach Jeff Judkins announced that Tegan Graham and Kayla Belles will join the Cougar program for the 2020-21 season.

Graham is a 6-foot guard from Wellington, New Zealand, who played the last four years at Colgate University. She has one more year of eligibility and will play one season for the Cougars.

Belles is a 6-foot-3 forward from Ithaca, Michigan, who has been playing at Michigan State for the last two years.

Coach Judkins on Graham:

“Tegan is a good, solid player that can play either the 3 or 4 positions. She’s really good at moving with the ball. She’ll bring a lot of experience with her. She’s a versatile player that will give us depth.”

Coach Judkins on Belles:

“We’re excited to have Kayla. We recruited her when she was in high school so we’re happy to get her here. She’s physical and her size and inside presence will be a great help for us. She got to play in a big conference for two years and that experience will be an added plus for us.”

Belles played in a total of 98 games while starting 47. She tallied 700 points for a 7.1 average, grabbed 272 rebounds for a 2.8 average, dished out 197 assists and recorded 53 blocks and 71 steals. She shot 42.6% from the field, 33.8% from behind the arc and 75.7% from the free-throw line.

Graham ranks sixth all-time in 3-point field goal percentage, 12th in blocked shots and 14th in field goal percentage at Colgate. She was on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for three seasons and was on the Colgate Raider Academic Honor Roll four times and was also a two-time team captain.

Prior to joining the women’s basketball team at Colgate, she prepped at Wellington Girls College where she served as captain from 2013-15.

Graham led the team to three consecutive College Sport Wellington Basketball Championship titles and was on the squad that twice won the Zone 3 Regional Basketball Championship. The team also placed second twice at the National Secondary Schools Basketball Championship.

While at Wellington she was a two-time Wellington Basketball Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and was on the National Secondary Schools Basketball Tournament Team selection from 2013-15.

Graham was a two-time Wellington Girls College Sportsperson of the Year recipient and was named WGC Team MVP three consecutive seasons. She also played on the New Zealand Women’s National U17 Basketball team in 2013 and earned a spot on the U18 team and U19 Junior Tall Ferns team in 2014.

Belles played in 49 games starting in 17 in her two seasons with Michigan State. She averaged 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds while tallying a total of 267 points, 170 rebounds, 12 assists, 29 steals and 39 blocks. She shot 45.4% from the field and 56.7% from the free-throw line. Belles averaged 16 minutes of playing time during the 2019-20 campaign.

While at Ithaca High School, she led the team to a 65-10 record over her three seasons and finished her junior season averaging 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots per game. She missed her senior season due to an injury.

Belles was named the MLive Saginaw News Girls Basketball Player of the Year following her junior year while leading the Yellowjackets to three-straight Tri-Valley Conference West Division titles, including a run to the Class C Final Four during her sophomore campaign. She was also a three-time Lansing State Journal Dream Team selection and earned the Kim Archer Character Award at the team’s 2019 banquet.

The two players will join nine letterwinners including three starters from last year’s squad that went 18-11 on the year. Also back for the Cougars’ 2020-21 campaign is Tahlia White, from Orem and Mountain View High School. White suffered a meniscus injury during her freshman year in 2018-19. Upon completing her rehabilitation, she chose to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She’s been serving in the Washington Spokane Mission.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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