(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah — In its West Coast Conference home opener, BYU women’s basketball scored a season-high in points while easily putting away LMU 76-59 on Saturday at the Marriott Center.
"I'm happy for these girls," BYU head coach Juff Judkins said. "I thought they played one of their better games tonight. Part of it is because we played like we practice. We moved the ball better. We took advantage of what the defense gave us, and we made some nice adjustments. It was a great win."
BYU (7-6, 1-1) shot 50 percent from the field in comparison to LMU’s (5-8, 0-2) 35 percent. The Cougars had the edge over the Lions on turnovers, LMU with 18 and BYU with 14. Of the Cougars' 76 poionts, 20 came off of Lion turnovers.
Four Cougars scored in double figures, seniors Makenzi Pulsipher and Kalani Purcell, and juniors Cassie Broadhead and Amanda Wayment. Broadhead finished with a game-high 20 points and six assists. Pulsipher tallied 19 points and four rebounds, while Purcell and Wayment finished with 13 and a career-high 10 points, respectively. Purcell also recorded a game-high 11 assists for the Cougars.
LMU scored the opening two points of the contest, but the Cougars quickly took the lead back with a 3-pointer from Pulsipher at the top of the key. The junior then went 2-of-2 from the foul line to give BYU the 5-4 advantage.
BYU finally took the 15-14 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter with a Broadhead jumper. The Cougars began to find their rhythm offfensively, and both Brenna Chase and Broadhead chipped in five points in the final two minutes to conclude the first quarter on top, 22-17.
Wayment recorded two quick points with a jumper to extend the Cougar lead to seven at the beginning of the second quarter, and then BYU proceeded to double their advantage with points from Nielson, Purcell and Pulsipher to lead the Lions by 15, 32-17.
Despite the Lions getting within nine, the Cougars remained on an offensive roll and took a 15-point edge over LMU into the locker room, 45-30.
The second half began much like the first half, with Pulsipher sinking a 3-pointer, increasing the Cougar edge over the Lions to 18. With more points from Nielson, Pulsipher, Broadhead and Purcell, BYU would only continue to extend their lead over the Lions to 23 with 4:50 remaining in the quarter. Following another 3-pointer from Pulsipher with under a minute left, the quarter ended with BYU up by 24, 65-42.
With a comfortable lead and a quarter to go, the Cougars extended the lead to a game-high 27 in the first two minutes with a 3-pointer from Broadhead. Despite going six minutes without a point, BYU found the basket with 1:04 remaining to reach a season-high 75 points and a 17-point lead off a Broadhead layup. The contest ended with the Cougars claiming the 76-59 victory over the Lions.
Up next for BYU will be the visiting Saint Mary’s Gaels on Thursday, January 5, with tipoff at 7:00 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv. Links to live stats are found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
With the win against LMU, BYU moves to 13-1 all-time against the Lions. The Cougars 76 points makes for the most scored in the 2016-17 season. BYU’s 50 percent field goal percentage is the team’s best of the year.
For the second straight game, four players finished the game in double figures for the fourth time this season—Broadhead (20), Pulsipher (19), Purcell (13), and Wayment (10).
In the first half of play, BYU dished out 14 assists on 17 field goals to LMU’s six assists on 10 field goals. The Cougars finished the game with a season-high 23 assists, while the Lions tallied 10.
BYU outscored LMU in points in the paint 34 to 14. The Cougars also had 20 points off of turnovers to the Lions 13.
Cassie Broadhead finished the game with a game-high 20 points, scoring in double figures for the 12th time this season. The junior guard’s point total also makes for her sixth 20-point game on the year. Broadhead added six assists and three rebounds.
Makenzi Pulsipher scored eight of the Cougars first 13 points, going 2-of-2 from behind the arc. The senior guard went into halftime leading all scorers with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Pulsipher finished the contest with 19 points with 12 points coming from the 3-point line. Pulsipher also pulled down four rebounds and tallied two steals in the win.
Going into the break, Kalani Purcell tallied 11 points, along with a game-high six assists and five rebounds. Purcell finished the game recording her third straight double-double with 13 points and 11 assists—her double-double was also her sixth of the year. The senior's 11 assists are a career, season and game-high. In addition, Purcell recorded six rebounds and a game-high five steals.
Amanda Wayment recorded a season- and career-high 10 points, going 5-of-8 from the field. Wayment also grabbed a team-high six rebounds, as well as one assist and one steal.