(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
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LAS VEGAS — A deep 3-pointer by Cassie Broadhead to force overtime and consecutive free throws from Makenzi Pulsipher in the extra period were crucial in No. 2 BYU’s 75-66 West Coast Conference tournament win over No. 7 San Diego on Friday afternoon at the Orleans Arena.
"San Diego came out strong," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said."You have to give them credit for their aggressive defense. San Diego probably played its best game against us all year. It was nice to see our team respond. It showed the character of this team and our coaching staff. We stuck together and found a way to win."
With 9.8 seconds remaining in regulation, Broadhead’s trey hit the bottom of the net to tie the game at 59-all and force overtime. The junior guard and WCC Player of the Year led the Cougars with a game-high 22 points.
Kalani Purcell scored inside to give BYU the early 61-59 lead in overtime. The WCC Defensive Player of the Year finished the contest with her 16th double-double of the season, recording 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Pulsipher then hit a key 3-point basket with 3:15 on the overtime clock to give BYU its biggest lead of the game to that point, 66-61. Pulsipher then scored seven more points for the Cougars on a layup and five free throws for a 73-66 BYU lead. The senior guard finished the game with 16 points, going 9 of 14 from the free throw line.
BYU outscored San Diego 16-7 in extra time.
The Cougars trailed the Toreros early as Aubrey Ward-El scored a quick six points off of Cougar turnovers to give the Toreros the 6-0 lead. San Diego extended its advantage to 10, 10-0, before Pulsipher gave BYU its first point of the game on a free throw.
As the Cougars struggled to find their groove on the offensive end, San Diego extended its lead to 18, 21-3. Broadhead then scored four-straight BYU points to close the gap to 14, 21-7, as the first quarter came to a close.
After a 3-point field goal from Kristine Nielson and a bucket inside by Purcell, BYU cut the San Diego lead to 12, 28-16, with 5:02 left in the second quarter.
San Diego pushed its lead back to 16, before Nielson responded with a 3, her second of the contest. With 29 seconds to go in the half, Nielson found an open Purcell to bring the Cougars within 11, 36-25.
A minute into the second half, Pulsipher converted a 3-point play, cutting the Torero lead to 10, 38-28.
A 7-0 Cougar run, backed by five points from Purcell, brought BYU within five, 42-37, at the 5:57 mark. It was the first time the Cougars were within five points or fewer since the 7:20 mark in the first quarter.
Broadhead drove into the paint and converted a 3-point play with 8:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. The basket and the foul brought BYU within two, 50-48.
At the 5:22 mark of the fourth quarter, Broadhead’s scoop shot gave BYU its first lead of the game, 54-53. On the next Cougar possession, Amanda Wayment finished a left hand floater to put BYU up three, 56-53.
The Cougars then went into a four-minute scoreless drought and San Diego responded with a 3-pointer and a put back to take a two-point, 58-56 lead with 1:48 on the clock.
A Torero turnover gave the Cougars the ball back with 48.5 on the clock for a chance to tie or take the lead. After a missed basket by Wayment, BYU sent San Diego to the line, where the Toreros converted 1 of 2. The Cougars then took their last and final timeout down three, 59-56, with 21.5 second left.
Pulsipher found Broadhead for a deep 3-pointer, tying the game with 9.8 to go. The Cougars stopped the Toreros on a last second shot to force overtime.
BYU women’s basketball will face Saint Mary’s in the semifinals of the WCC Basketball Championships on Monday, March 6, at 2 p.m. PT. The game will be televised live on BYUtv and broadcast on BYU Radio and Sirius XM 143.
BYU had two 20-point scorers for the third time this season. Kalani Purcell (21) and Cassie Broadhead (20) both had 20-plus vs. Oregon State. At LMU, Makenzi Pulsipher scored 20 and Broadhead had 25.
BYU overcame an 18-point deficit to win 75-66 against San Diego. It was the largest deficit overcome in a victory by the Cougars this season. Prior to Friday, BYU’s biggest comeback of the season was in a 63-54 win against UNLV in Maui. The Cougars trailed by 10 in that game.
The Cougars are 19-2 when they tally more assists than their opponent. BYU dished out 13 assists to USD's nine.
With the win over San Diego, head coach Jeff Judkins recorded his 11th 20-plus win season and the eighth straight.
Kalani Purcell posted her 16th double-double of the season and 34th of her career with 20 points and 16 rebounds. It was her second-straight game with 20-plus points and third of the season. She also added four assist and three blocks.
Cassie Broadhead finished with 22 points, her 25th-straight game scoring in double figures and 29th overall this season. This was also her 14th game this season with 20-plus points. Broadhead’s layup at the 5:22 mark in the fourth quarter gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 54-53. She hit a 3 with 9.8 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Kristine Nielson finished with 10 points, her 12th game this season scoring in double figures. She hit 4 of 6 from the field and 2 of 3 from 3.
Makenzi Pulsipher hit a 3 with 3:15 remaining in overtime to give BYU a 66-61 lead, its largest to that point in the game. Pulsipher has now made a 3 in 11-straight games. She finished with 16 points, the 22nd time this season she has scored in double figures. Pulsipher finished with four steals, her 14th game this season with three-plus steals.
Amanda Wayment tied her career high with 10 rebounds while adding three points, two steals and one assist.