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BYU basketball: Women reach NCAA Sweet 16 for first time since 2002

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The BYU Cougars womens basketball team is going further than any team in the state of Utah this year. On Monday, March 24 as a No. 12 seed the Cougars upended No. 5 seeded Nebraska 80-76 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Los Angeles.

“We didn’t handle Nebraska’s pressure very well and turned the ball over often,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said in his post-game press conference. “We did defend and make foul shots when we had to, though. I knew Jen (Hamson) would make those last two free throws, so the ball went to her. This is a great team win.”

Hamson, a 6-7 senior center from Lindon, had 15 points and 14 rebounds for BYU (28-6) and with those points she also becomes the 10th leading scorer in school history with 1,428 in her career.

Morgan Bailey led all scorers with 18 points, while Lexi Eaton chipped in 15 points, had five rebounds and dished out two assists for BYU. Eaton, who is never quiet when it comes to sharing her opinions on her Twitter page, shared the sentiments of many Cougar fans who hadn’t reached this point in over a decade.

“SWEET SIXTEEN BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Eaton tweeted in all caps, signifying her relief and excitement over BYU’s upset of Nebraska.

The Cougars advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second time under Jeff Judkins -- and for the first time since 2002.

Their next March Madness opponent at the Sweet 16 will either be No. 1 seed Connecticut or No. 9 seed Saint Joseph’s later this week.

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