PROVO, Utah – Kalani Purcell’s 10th double-double led BYU women’s basketball to a 69-64 win against Pepperdine Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center. The win extend’s the Cougars' winning streak to eight games and remain undefeated at home. They are tied for first place in the West Coast Conference with San Diego at 8-1.
“We're lucky, that's all I can say tonight about this game,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought that we played really well in the first half - did a great job of getting the lead. For some reason, though, we didn't come out and play the way we needed to defensively and on the offensive end. I give a lot of credit to Pepperdine. We probably have the most important two weeks of our season coming up, so we'll see what we're made of.”
Purcell led the Cougars with a double-double of 16 points and a career-high 24 rebounds to go along with eight assists. Lexi Eaton Rydalch added a team-high 21 points to bring her to third place on BYU’s all-time scoring list. Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher rounded out the double-digit scoring with 13 while Amanda Wayment added seven boards in the win.
BYU (16-4, 8-1 WCC) jumped out to a 9-4 lead midway through the first quarter as Pepperdine (5-15, 1-8 WCC) struggled offensively.
The teams traded 3-pointers to end the first quarter with the Cougars maintaining a four-point lead at 21-17.
Rydalch and Kylie Maeda hit 3-point baskets for BYU to extend its lead to eight, 27-19, at the start of the second quarter.
The Waves cut the advantage to three, but the Cougars then went on an 8-0 run, capped off by a mid-range jumper from Purcell, to take a double-digit lead at 35-24.
BYU went into halftime up 38-28 after made free throws from Pepperdine ended the scoring for the half.
Purcell had 16 rebounds and six assists while Rydalch collected 12 points to lead all players in the three main categories at the break.
The Waves cut the Cougars’ lead back to single digits at 48-41 following a 3-pointer and layup midway through the third quarter.
BYU then went on a three-minute scoring drought before a Purcell layup brought her team’s lead back up to six, 52-46, in the tightly contested quarter.
Pepperdine’s Allie Green hit a 3-pointer four minutes into the fourth quarter to cut the Cougars’ advantage to one, 54-53. Following a timeout from Judkins, back-to-back layups from Pulsipher and Wayment brought the score back to 58-53.
The score stayed neck-to-neck as each team struggled to score down the stretch. Pulsipher hit another 3-pointer with under a minute to go to increase the lead to seven at 63-56.
The Waves couldn’t overcome BYU’s advantage, however, as the Cougars pulled away with a 69-64 win.
BYU hits the road next Thursday, Jan. 28, when they face off against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. PST. The game will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Links to live stats and the video feeds can be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
BYU took a 38–28 lead into halftime over Pepperdine. The Cougars shot 41.4 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from behind the arc while the Waves shot 32.4 and 44.4 percent, respectively. The Cougars outrebounded the Waves 27 to 16 in the first half and the Waves had eight assists to the Cougars 10.
The Cougars finished the contest shooting 36.2 percent from the field to the Waves 36.5 percent. BYU brought down 45 rebounds while Pepperdine gathered 37, and the Cougars dished out 17 assists to the Waves 16. BYU has now won the rebounding battle in 12 games this season, and is 13-0 when the team dishes out more assists.
BYU’s bench chipped in 13 points of the team’s total points, while Pepperdine’s bench had 11. The Cougars had 11 points off of turnovers to the Waves seven.
For the tenth time this season, three players scored in double figures: Rydalch (21), Purcell (16), Pulsipher (13).
With the win, BYU improves to 16-4, 8-1 on the year and 14-0 when leading at halftime. The Cougars have now won eight games in a row, are 9-0 at home on the season and are 7-0 in the month of January.
Lexi Eaton Rydalch passed Jackie Beene McBride in points at the 7:59 mark of the second period to become third on BYU’s all-time scoring list with 2,185 points. With Rydalch’s game-high 21 points in today’s contest, she now has 2,204 career points as a Cougar, and needs 105 points to tie Teresa Spaulding Hamson for second place at 2,309. Rydalch can pass Alex Cowling to become the WCC’s all-time leading scorer with 16 more points.
Kalani Purcell brought down nine rebounds and dished out four assists in the first period alone. She entered the half with 16 total rebounds, six points and six assists. Purcell finished the game with 16 points, a new career- and game-high 24 rebounds and a game-high eight assists. Purcell now has 10 double-doubles on the year. Going 6 for 6 from the line, Purcell has now shot 100.0 percent from the foul line in four games this season, and has played all 40 minutes in four games throughout the year.
Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher had 13 points, scoring in double digits for the 13th time this season. Pulsipher finished the game with two 3-point field goals and now has 31 3-pointers on the year.
Kylie Maeda dished out three assists and needs 22 more to pass Cindy Battistone for 11th place on the all-time assist leader list. Maeda finished the game with a team-high two steals, five points and three assists.
Kristine Fuller Nielson had seven first period points and finished the game with seven points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Amanda Wayment grabbed seven rebounds and had four points in the win.