Long-Range Shooting Pushes BYU Past Pepperdine, 89-75
Feb. 20, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine women’s basketball team cut it to an 11-point game in the second half after getting down by as much as 23 to BYU, but couldn’t finish the comeback, falling 89-75 to the Cougars on Thursday night.
Pepperdine made a push late in the second half, getting a three from Ea Shoushtari (Los Angeles, Calif./L.A.C.E.S.) to kick off a 12-1 run. Grace Leah Baughn (Norcross, Ga./Wesleyan School) knocked down a three and then Shoushtari hit a running floater off a turnover to make it a 71-59 game with 7:20 to play. After BYU answered with seven straight points, the closest the Waves would come the rest of the way was 85-72 at the 2:01 mark.
“You make it tough on yourself when you give up 33 points from the 3-point line in the first half,” said head coach Ryan Weisenberg. “I thought we did a better job in the second half, we just dug too deep of a hole. We were focused on shutting down the paint and did a pretty good job of that, but left them wide open from deep.”
A hot shooting BYU squad jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first half, hitting 11 of 22 threes in the period.
Keitra Wallace (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) cut the BYU lead to 11 at the 5:33 mark, but the Cougars promptly rattled off 10 straight points to push it to a 21-point advantage, 48-27. Shoushtari knocked down a three to end the run, but the Cougars would still take a 53-33 lead into the break.
BYU shot 55.6 percent overall in the half, getting 17 points from Lexi Eaton who poured in five 3-pointers. The Waves shot 40.6 percent in the first 20 minutes and hit 4 of 8 threes. Shoushtari knocked down two of those triples, scoring 10 points in the early going for Pepperdine.
The Waves would cut the margin to 16 out of the gates in the second half, pulling to within 59-43 at the 15:49 mark. BYU again had a run to answer the Waves, though, going on an 8-2 spurt to push it to a 22-point game.
The Waves finished shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and got a career-high 23 points from Shoushtari. The junior guard was 8 of 4 from the floor and hit 4 of 7 long balls.
“We challenged Ea to step up tonight and I thought she did a good job,” said Weisenberg. “When we don’t get scoring elsewhere we really need a lot from her and she gave us a good efficient night tonight. She kept us in the game.”
The Cougars finished the game shooting 50.8 percent, but came back to earth from downtown in the second half, hitting 2 of 7 attempts. Eaton finished with a game-high 25 points. Jennifer Hamson scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
The loss drops the Waves to 5-21 on the year overall, 1-14 WCC and moves second-place BYU to 22-5, 12-4 WCC. Pepperdine is back in action on Saturday, taking on San Diego in the team’s final home game this season.