BYU bounces out Florida in first round rout

Mark Pawlak

The offense of Brigham Young ran with precision.

Florida’s simply did not as 11-seeded Cougars upset

the sixth-seeded Lady Gators 90-52 in first round NCAA

tournament action Saturday at Hilton Coliseum. Florida (18-11) had no answer defensively for the

Cougars (23-8) and struggled on the offensive end of

the court.

BYU came out of the gates quickly and held a 28-8

lead midway through the first half and the rout was


The Cougars started by hitting 10 of their first

15 field goal attempts. They shot 50 percent (32-64)

from the field and 47 percent (10-21) from three-point

range for the contest.

Erin Thorn led BYU with 28 points and shot 7-11

from behind the three-point arc. Jennifer Leitner

turned in a double-double with 17 points and 17


“(BYU) executed their offense with extreme

precision,” said Florida head coach Carol Ross. “They

were able to hit tough shots. They were able to hit

the easy shots. They had an answer for everything we


Offensively, the Lady Gators could not find a

rhythm. They shot a chilly 5-33 (15 percent) in the

first half, which led to a 39-18 halftime deficit.

Florida improved some in the second half, but finished

the game shooting 25 percent (18-70) from the field

and 18 percent (4-22) behind the three-point line.

Vanessa Hayden, the Lady Gators’ leading scorer


17.6 ppg, was held to four points as the Cougars

double-teamed her in the post.

The offensive woes were so bad for Florida that

Brandi McCain was the only Florida player to score for

a stretch of over 16 minutes. From the 10:02 mark in

the first half to 13:41 left in the second half,


scored 14 consecutive points. She led the Lady Gators

with 28 points in the contest.

The Cougars’ motion offense could not be stopped

as Florida continuously changed defenses, but could

not find an answer.

“We had overall good team motion. Our motion

really confused them,” Thorn said. “I think they

didn’t know how to guard a lot of the things that we

did. My teammates found me open and I was able to

knock down the shots.”

The Cougars did exactly what they knew they

needed to do.

“We played one of best games. We came out knowing

what we had to do and executed very well,” said BYU

head coach Jeff Judkins. “We took Hayden out of the

game. We didn’t give them second shots. We handled

their pressure.”