Tucson, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Center Jennifer Hamson scored 17 of her career-high 23 points in the second half of her season debut as BYU snapped a two-game losing streak via a convincing 62-48 victory over Arizona Tuesday at McKale Center.
The 6-7 Hamson made nine of her 17 attempts and also had a career-high 14 rebounds and five blocks in 27 minutes of play to help the Cougars (3-2) hand the Wildcats (3-1) their first loss in four games.
Hamson, a junior, eclipsed her previous career high 21 points which she accomplished against DePaul on March 17, 2012. Her previous career-best 13 rebounds came against TCU last year.
“Jennifer Hamson causes so many problems for the other team,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Not just with scoring but her defensive presence. It’s nice to have her back. She is a great player.”
Lexi Eaton scored 14 markers and Kim Beeston added 12 points and five assists for the Cougars. Ashley Garfield and Morgan Bailey were the only other scorers for BYU with seven and six points, respectively.
Davellyn Whyte, the Wildcats’ leading scorer with an average of 17.7 points per game, managed just 12 on 4-for-10 shooting. She also had four rebounds and six turnovers in 34 minutes of play.
Alli Gloyd added 11, Erica Barnes had 10 and Kama Griffitts had nine for the Wildcats, who shot an anemic 28.3 percent (15-for-53) from the field compared to 36.8 percent (21-for-57) by the Cougars.
The Cougars dominated the shaded lane, scoring 36 points in the paint while the Wildcats only had 10 as they had no answer for Hamson.
Layana White sank two foul shots to give Arizona an 18-15 lead but it was short-lived as the Cougars launched a 13-3 run behind Eaton, Garfield and Bailey to close the opening half with a 28-21 advantage.
Hamson scored 10 points in a Cougars’ 14-7 run to pad their lead to 42-28 with 15 minutes left in the second half. A three-pointer by Beeston gave BYU a 55-38 advantage with five minutes left in the game.
Whyte and Griffitts then buried back-to-back three-pointers in an 8-0 run to bring the Wildcats within 56-48 but Hamson scored two layups and Eaton added two foul shots to seal the win.