BYU falls to Georgia in close battle
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Despite 16 points from Lexi Eaton Rydalch and a career-high 14 points from Cassie Broadhead, BYU women’s basketball fell to Georgia 66-58, Friday, in the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic held on the campus of CSUN.
“We got out to a good start tonight, but we couldn’t capitalize on our lead,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We missed a lot of easy baskets and continued turning the ball over. We pulled down the rebounds, but we couldn’t score on our second chance opportunities. They rebounded and they finished.”
Rydalch finished the contest with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes of play, while Broadhead finished the game with a career-high 14 points, with all her points coming in the second half. She also added six rebounds, four assists and a steal.
In its first meeting against the Georgia Bulldogs, BYU outrebounded the Bulldogs 45 to 33 through 40 minutes of play, and the Cougar bench outscored the Bulldogs’ 20 to 0. It was back-and-forth the whole game, with no team leading by more than 12 points. Sophomore Amanda Wayment made her first career start in place of the injured Micaelee Orton. Wayment, who got into foul trouble early, finished the game with two points and three rebounds.
BYU started the game strong on a 5-0 run behind a layup from Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher and a 3-point field goal made by Rydalch. At the 4:38 mark, the Cougars extended their lead to seven, 12-5, on a layup by Kalani Purcell. The Bulldogs closed in on the Cougars’ lead with a 6-0 run of their own to close the first period. BYU finished the first 10 minutes with a one- point, 14-13 lead, shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. Pulsipher finished the period with seven points, while Rydalch added five points and four rebounds.
Teams traded baskets to start the second period with Kristine Fuller Nielson converting a 3-pointer to make it a one-point Cougar advantage 19-18 at the 8:40 mark. BYU shot its first free throws of the game with 5:52 to go in the second period. Purcell went 1 for 2 from the line keeping the Cougars atop 22-21. On the next possession, Kylie Maeda hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to four, 25-21, for her third consecutive game with at least one 3-pointer made.
Georgia closed the quarter on yet another 6-0 run to push the halftime score to 29-27 in the Bulldogs’ favor. The Cougars pulled down 24 rebounds in first half to the Bulldogs 18, with Purcell recording six and Rydalch grabbing six of her own. BYU led for 15 minutes of the first half, and finished the first 20 minutes with eight assists to Georgia’s four.
Pulsipher and Rydalch led the Cougars with a team-high seven points apiece going into the break. The Cougars shot just two free throws in the first half, while the Bulldogs shot 10.
Opening the third period, the Bulldogs extended their lead 33-27, which was then cut to three, 33-30 behind a Pulsipher 3-pointer. BYU scored just one field goal through the first five minutes of the third period as Georgia pulled ahead 37-30. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 45-33 towards the end of the third, which was cut by a 7-0 run Cougar run to end the quarter down 45-40. All seven points of the Cougar run came from Broadhead.
BYU opened the final period with another Broadhead layup to cut the Georgia lead to 45-42. Teams traded baskets, keeping the score close, through the first three minutes of the fourth period before the Bulldogs pulled ahead 55-46. Midway through the period, Broadhead was fouled on a 3-point attempt and brought the Cougars back within six, 55-49 making all three free throws. Georgia then went on another run going up by double digits, 60-49.
Purcell scored a layup and Broadhead then hit two free throws to cut the score to seven, 62-45 with 1:52 left in the game. The Cougars couldn’t close the gap despite a deep 3-pointer by Rydalch in the final minutes. Turnovers plagued the Cougars against the Bulldogs. BYU finished the game with 20 to Georgia’s nine.
BYU will continue action playing in the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday. They will play either Penn State or CSUN in a 2 p.m. PT tip.
For the first time this season, the Cougar women made a change to their starting lineup. Amanda Wayment started in her first game of her career.
In the first half of action, BYU outrebounded UGA 24 to 18. The Cougars finished with 45 rebounds compared with 33 for the Bulldogs.
After 20 minute of action, the Cougars had dished out eight assists to Georgia’s four. BYU had a total of 11 assists for the game. UGA finished with 12.
BYU had the advantage in the steals category with seven to Georgia’s five.
The Cougars also had 28 points in the paint compared with 24 for the Bulldogs. They also had a two-point advantage in fast break points with eight to six.
The BYU bench finished with 20 points in the game while the UGA bench had none.
Lexi Eaton Rydalch
Lexi Eaton Rydalch tied for team bests in points with seven and in rebounds with six through the first half of play. Rydalch concluded the game with her second double-double of the year from team bests in points with 16 and in rebounds with 10.
Kalani Purcell tied for team highs in rebounds with six to go along with five points, one block and one steal in the first half. She tallied a total of 10 rebounds for the game, which tied for team bests and had seven points. Purcell also had a game-high two blocks along with two steals.
Cassie Broadhead came off the bench and had a solid game recording career highs in points with 14 and in rebounds with six. Broadhead also dished out two assists and had one steal in 20 minutes of action.
Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher
Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher had first half highs in steals with two. She finished with a game-high four steals. Pulsipher also recorded her fourth and second straight double digit outing in points with 10.
Kristine Fuller Nielson finished the game with a season-high six points, and also recorded a career-high four rebounds.
Despite coming back from an 11-point deficit to tie the game with under two minutes remaining, the BYU women’s…