MALIBU, CALIF. — Coming off of an unsuccessful two game road trip, the women’s basketball team returned to the Firestone Fieldhouse looking to improve its 3-0 home winning streak. The Waves (11-10, 6-4) earned their 61-49 victory over No. 22-ranked BYU (20-4, 8-2) on Thursday, February 2nd.
Even though the Cougars appeared significantly better on paper, the Waves were able to avenge their previous painful 80-56 loss to BYU with stellar, up-close-and-personal defense.
The women’s basketball squad forced the Cougars into committing 23 turnovers, and capitalized off those missteps by scoring 17 points.
Senior guard Lauren Bell led the charge with a career-high 26 points and five steals. Senior forward Skye Barnett added to that with a solid eight points and nine rebounds, and junior forward Kelsey Patrick followed close behind with 13 points and six rebounds.
Although the Waves finished the first half shooting only 22.6 percent, they had a hot hand early with Bell and Patrick sinking three-pointers to put the team ahead 8-7. But from then on, the Cougars managed to stick around. They took a 23-22 lead, despite bricking the last three-pointer of the half.
That last play of the half would characterize the rest of the game for the BYU Cougars as they went on to shoot 4-for-24 from behind the arc.
Pepperdine, on the other hand, emerged from the locker room with a new mindset, jumping the gun with an easy lay-in by Bell, and then a steal by Bell that translated into a go-ahead score for junior Shay Cooney-Williams.
The back-to-back plays triggered a 7-0 run for the Waves, and by the three-minute mark they took total control of the game with a 15-point lead over the Cougars.
Thanks to their consistent high intensity defense, and 55 percent shooting performance, the women’s basketball team was able to cruise to the 61-49 win to snap the Cougars’ nine-game win streak.
Next up, the team faces conference rival LMU (7-15, 3-7) for the first time this season in an away game on Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m.
Tune in to pepperdinesports.com for the live broadcast.