(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball fell 68-61 in a heartbreaking loss to No. 16 Oklahoma at the Marriott Center Saturday afternoon.
“This was a game I thought we should have won. It was a game where we had opportunities," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We had a lot of good looks when we needed some baskets and didn't make them. We'll bounce back."
Overall, BYU (1-2) outshot Oklahoma (3-0) by one percent, 35 to 34, but couldn’t secure the win. Junior Cassie Broadhead led the Cougars with 18 points while senior Makenzi Pulsipher added 15 points and seven defensive rebounds. Senior Kalani Purcell had eight points and a team-best 13 rebounds on the night. Senior Kristine Nielson contributed eight points, including two 3-pointers, and five rebounds as well.
After shooting just 20 percent in the first quarter and trailing 20-8, the Cougars battled back in the second quarter. Broadhead and Pulsipher combined for 11 points in two minutes, including three-consecutive 3-pointers, to spark the Cougars on an 11-2 run and close the gap to three points, 22-19. With 7:08 on the clock, Purcell added a bucket of her own to bring BYU within one, 21-22.
The Cougars took the lead, 23-22, on a Brenna Chase’s layup with 6:07 left in the half.
Purcell stole the ball with 2:46 on the clock before quickly passing it to Pulsipher, who then dished it to Broadhead under the basket. Broadhead put it in the net to go up 30-25.
The Sooners reduced BYU’s lead to three, 34-31, on a 6-4 run heading into halftime.
Oklahoma came out of the locker room ready to pounce, tying the score 34-34 on the opening 3-point shot. The teams traded baskets back and forth and BYU maintained between a five-point and seven-point lead for the rest of the third quarter.
The Sooners whittled down the Cougars’ lead in the final quarter as Oklahoma charged forward on an 11-3 run to take the lead 58-57 with 5:18 on the clock.
Broadhead’s perfect trip to the charity stripe with 35 seconds left brought the Cougars within three 62-59, but it wasn’t enough. Amanda Wayment added a layup with 10 seconds to go, but the Sooners’ efficient free throw shooting extended their lead to seven and a final score of 68-61.
The Cougars will next compete in the University of New Mexico Thanksgiving Tournament Friday, Nov. 25 - Saturday, Nov. 26. BYU will first play Saint Joseph’s Friday, Nov. 25 at 4:30 p.m. MST.
Post Game Notes
With the 68-61 loss to Oklahoma, BYU is 1-2 on the season.
In the first half, the Cougars outshot the Sooners from the field, the 3-point line and the free throw line. BYU shot 40 percent from the field compared with 34.2. From the 3-point line, the Cougars shot 36.4 percent, while the Sooners had 18.2 percent. BYU shot 75 percent from the 3-point line and OU shot 60 from behind the arc. The Cougars finished the contest shooting 34.9 percent from the field, while the Sooners shot 33.8 percent.
BYU dished out eight first half assists to OU’s six. The Cougars had six points off of turnovers in the first 20 minutes to the Sooners’ two. Oklahoma’s bench scored 14 points off the bench while BYU only had three points off the bench in the first half. At the end of the game, the Cougars tallied 13 assists while the Sooners got 14.
The Cougars finished the first 20 minutes of play with 17 rebounds while the Sooners brought down 29. At the end of the game, BYU had 41 to OU’s 56.
BYU scored 26 points in the paint, 17 points off turnovers and shot seven points from the bench. Oklahoma scored 24 points from in the paint, had 17 points off turnovers and shot 19 points from the bench.
Cassie Broadhead finished the game setting a new career-high with 18 points. She dished out three assists, two steals and two rebounds on the night.
At the half, she led all scorers with 10, shooting 3-for-7 from the field and 1-for-1 from behind the arc.
Makenzi Pulsipher finished the game with 15 points, a career-high seven rebounds and five assists. She shot 2-for-2 from the free-throw line and 3-for-8 from the 3-point line.
Kalani Purcell pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds while dishing out three assists. Purcell finished the contest with eight points, a team-best four steals, three assists and one block.
Kristine Nielson finished the night with eight points, five rebounds, two assists and one block. She scored five of the eight points in the first period.