(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—After back-to-back home wins, BYU women’s basketball (16-9,10-4 West Coast Conference) is tied with Saint Mary’s for second place in the conference standings entering this week’s league action.
BYU is on its final road trip of the year in WCC play taking on the San Diego Toreros (11-13, 5-9) on Thursday, Feb. 16, in a 6 p.m., PST start time. The team then travels to Moraga, to take on Saint Mary’s (15-10, 10-4) on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m., PST. Both games will be carried live on BYU Radio and will be streamed at TheW.tv.
BYU AT A GLANCE
Three players are scoring in double figures for the Cougars with a team- and league-best 18.6 points a game from junior guard Cassie Broadhead
. She was named this week’s WCC Payer of the Week. Senior guard Makenzi Pulsipher
is next in scoring, contributing 13.2 points. The third BYU player to put up double digits in points is senior All-American Kalani Purcell
. She’s averaging a double-double with 12.1 points and a team-and league-high 10.5 boards per game.
With just two weeks remaining in the WCC regular season, the Cougars are scoring 68.1 points per game while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 34.0 percent from behind the arc and 71.4 percent from the charity stripe. BYU grabs 36.6 rebounds a contest.
• Team’s leading scorer: #20 C. Broadhead, 18.6 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #32 K. Purcell, 10.5 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 K. Purcell, 5.2 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #32 Purcell, 2.2 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: ##32 K. Purcell, 1.1 bpg
SAN DIEGO AT A GLANCE
San Diego has compiled an 11-13, 5-9 record to date. The Toreros have league wins over Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara, LMU, Portland and Pacific. At home, USD is 4-3 in conference games.
The Toreros return 12 letterwinners and four starters from last year’s team that went 25-7, 14-4. USD advanced to the WNIT Sweet 16 last season.
Aubrey Ward-El is one of two players putting up double digits in points with a team-best 10.3 average. She’s followed by Sydney Williams, who is contributing 10.1 points a contest. Caroline Buhr pulls down a team-best 5.4 boards a game.
USD is averaging 65.5 points per game, is shooting 41.0 percent from the field, 25.7 percent from 3-point land and 72.3 percent from the free-throw line.
• Head coach: Cindy Fisher (Arizona State, ‘88), Ninth season
• Team’s leading scorer: #05 A. Ward-El, 10.3 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #24 C. Buhr, 5.4 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 C. Woodward, 4.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #25 K. Hamilton, 1.6 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #44 S. Williams, 1.2 bpg
BYU leads the series 10-3. These two WCC foes already met once this year in Provo on January 14. In that game, BYU recorded the 81-63 home victory. When playing in San Diego, the Cougars have a 2-3 record. The last time that BYU won at Jenny Craig Pavilion was on Jan. 10, 2013, when the Cougars picked up a 57-54 overtime win.
SAINT MARY’S AT A GLANCE
Saint Mary’s, who is tied with BYU in league play with a 10-4 mark, has a 15-10 record on the season. The Gaels are at LMU on Thursday night before hosting BYU on Saturday afternoon. SMC is 6-1 at home in league play.
The Gaels return seven letterwinners and four starters from last year’s team that compiled a 24-8, 14-4 record.
Similar to the Cougars, Saint Mary’s has three players scoring in double figures, led by 14.3 points from Stella Beck. Megan McKay is next, contributing 10.6 points a game. Carly Turner rounds out the scoring, chipping in 10.4 points per contest. In the rebounds category, McKay tops the leaderboard, grabbing a team-best 7.9 boards a game.
Saint Mary’s is scoring 71.5 points per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from 3-point range and 71.0 percent from the free-throw line. The Gaels grab 42.5 rebounds a game.
• Head coach: Paul Thomas (Wayne State College, ‘88), 11th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 S. Beck, 14.3 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #25 M. McKay, 7.9 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #21 S. Beck, 3.3 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #21 S. Beck, 1.4 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #10 C. Turner, .88 bpg
The all-time series between these two schools is at 7-6 in favor of BYU. Saturday’s game will be the second meeting this season between SMC and BYU. The two played in Provo on Jan. 5, where the Cougars picked up the five-point, 70-65 home win. When BYU plays in Moraga, it has a 1-4 record. The Cougars won at McKeon Pavilion last year, 65-44 on Feb. 6, 2016, their one and only win in Moraga.
BYU returns home for its final two WCC season games before the league tournament in Las Vegas. The Cougars host Portland on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. MST. They finish conference play hosting league-leading Gonzaga on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. MST. Both games are slated to air live on BYUtv.