Waves Ride Hot Second Half Shooting to Victory Over No. 22 BYU
Senior guard Lauren Bell puts away a career-high 26 points.
Feb. 2, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's basketball team broke out in a big way at Firestone Fieldhouse Thursday night, defeating No. 22 Brigham Young 61-49 as they rode hot shooting in the second half to victory. Senior guard Lauren Bell led the charge for the Waves with a career-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
The Waves (11-10, 6-4 WCC) hung with the nationally ranked Cougars (20-4, 8-2 WCC) in the first half and went into the break down just one, 23-22. The story for the Waves was the second half, where they opened up a 16-3 run through the first 10 minutes of the half and shot an impressive 55.0 percent from the field in the half to carry the lead through the final buzzer.
On the game, head coach Julie Rousseau said, "Our leaders just took over. In the locker room, they interjected and were engaged, even at halftime. They knew what kind of a caliber team this is and that we were down just one and they felt good about that. They knew they had to stay committed to the game plan and trust each other. I think this is just the beginning for this team. This is a big win for us and the start of something."
Bell (San Bruno, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) scored 16 of her career-high 26 points in the second half and finished four-of-six from behind the three-point line, tying a career-high. She also had a team-high five steals as the Waves forced the Cougars into 23 turnovers.
Junior forward Kelsey Patrick (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak HS) also scored in double-figures as she tied her season-high 13 points and added six rebounds. Senior guard Jazmine Jackson (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) had a solid 10 points, and senior forward Skye Barnett (Albuqerque, N.M./Cibola HS) led the team with nine rebounds.
In the first half, the Waves were down by as many as six points, 15-9 at the 11 minute mark. The Waves would cut into the lead, bringing it back down to three off a layup by Patrick with 7:30 left, but the Cougars kept responding, pushing their lead back up to five.
The Cougars would hold a 21-16 lead with 2:29 left in the half, but the Waves would force a turnover on the defensive end and Bell would nail a three-pointer with 1:35 left in the half to put the score at 21-19.
After going back down four with 1:11 to go, Jackson would hit a free throw and strong defense by the Waves would deny the Cougars any more points in the half. Barnett hit two free throws with 21 seconds left to put the Waves within one, 23-22, the score that would stand into the half.
At the half the Waves were led by Bell with 10 points and Patrick with five. The Waves forced the Cougars into 13 turnovers and only gave the ball away six times.
In the second half the Waves came out firing, pushing an 8-0 run through the 15:28 mark to take a 30-23 lead. On the defensive end the Waves held the Cougars scoreless through the first 4:33 of the half, until BYU's Jennifer Hamson would complete a layup to put the score at 30-25.
The Waves would go on another 8-1 run with 10:34 left in the half to take a double-digit lead, 38-26. The Cougars would answer with a five-point run of their own, cutting the lead to 38-31 with 9:14 to go.
However the Waves' hot shooting continued as they would push the lead back out to 14, 45-31 with 6:56 left.
As the Cougars started to make another run, Bell would strike with a three-pointer at the 4:50 mark and another with 3:43 to put a dagger in the Cougars' comeback and give the Waves their biggest lead of the day, 15 points, 53-38.
The Cougars never gave up, mounting a 9-1 run to cut the Waves' lead to seven, 56-49 with 1:09 to go, but they would get no closer.
The Waves would take care of the ball and sink their free throws through the final minute to put the score at 61-49 at the final buzzer.
The Waves will ride this victory into a tilt with rival Loyola Marymount on Monday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. PT in Los Angeles.