SDSU women’s basketball started its season with a 75-65 victory over a Brigham Young University team that had been considered the No. 1 mid-major program coming into the season.
Early on, the game seemed to be going BYU’s way as the Jackrabbit offense was stymied by turnovers and the Cougars forged a 22-17 lead.
14 points later, the Jackrabbits had raced out to a 31-22 lead that carried them into halftime up five points on the Cougars.
“It was huge because the crowd – that brought our intensity up and it made us jump forward and get a bigger lead,” freshman guard Macy Miller said.
Coming out of the half, the Jacks hit their stride again continuing a stretch in which they outscored the Cougars 39-11 and seized a 24-point lead.
Highlighting this stretch, Miller drove the length of the court in four seconds to score a buzzer beater bucket after a tipped pass had forced the Jacks to inbound the ball from the far corner.
“Coach was telling me I had four seconds so the only thing in my mind was to go as fast as I could and get a shot up,” Miller said.
BYU managed to put some pressure on the Jacks in the final minutes, but it was too little too late for the Cougars to spoil SDSU’s home opener.
“Part of it is they didn’t travel and part of it is that they’ve got good fans that scream and yell,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins about the difference between playing the Jackrabbits at BYU last year and at SDSU this year. “Probably the biggest issue [is] they believe they can’t lose here.”
The Jackrabbits were perfect from the free throw line, going 16 for 16 which sets a school record for the most free throws in a game without a miss.
All five starters made it into double figures scoring, led by Megan Waytashek with 15. Chynna Stevens led the team in rebounds, 11, and scored 11 for her first regular season double-double.
“It was a great way to start off the season,” said head coach Aaron Johnston. “I think the last couple years we’ve actually opened up with a loss and this feels a lot better… We played well against a good team. I thought we had great contributions from a lot of players, some of them were really big contributions and big minutes, some of them were really important short little spurts, whether it’s Rachel [Walters] hitting a couple of threes, Ellie [Thompson] hitting a three in the first half.”
Next up for SDSU will be the Creighton Blue Jays who they host Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in Frost Arena. The two last met in the WNIT last season, a game SDSU won 62-51.