Cougars fall to Toreros in first WCC match-up of season
SAN DIEGO — BYU women’s basketball fell to San Diego, 78-65, in its first game of West Coast Conference play, Wednesday, despite 23 points from senior guard Lexi Eaton Rydalch.
"We played out of sync today," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We didn't have the energy and urgency we needed to win the game. We also didn't defend as well as we usually do and we got outrebounded. We had chances, but we couldn't make the baskets we needed to. We'll have to play better as conference play goes on."
Rydalch led all scorers with a game-high 23 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists, while teammate Kalani Purcell recorder her fifth double-double of the year scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Four Cougars scored in double figures with Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher adding 11 and Cassie Broadhead chipping in 10 to go along with Rydalch and Purcell. Micaelee Orton returned to action playing three minutes after missing seven games due to injury.
BYU (8-4, 0-1) finished the contest with 10 steals to San Diego's (11-1, 1-0) five, while the Toreros outrebounded the Cougars 47 to 29. BYU dished out 13 assists, with Rydalch and Purcell tallying a team-high four assists apiece, and San Diego had 10 assists for the game.
The Toreros struck first on a layup by Maya Hood to take the 2-0 lead, but on the next possession the Cougars equaled the score 2-2 on a layup off the glass by Purcell. Teams then continued to trade baskets, giving the Cougars the 9-8 advantage on a back door layup by Rydalch with 6:20 to go in the first period. Pulsipher gave BYU its biggest lead of the game, 12-8, on a 3-point field goal, her first of the game and 19th of the season.
San Diego then went on a 6-0 run to take the 14-12 lead behind four points from Malina Hood. Rydalch stopped the run on the next play converting a 10-foot jumper, tying the score 14-14. The Toreros closed the period on a 7-2 run giving them the 21-16 advantage after 10 minutes of play.
Purcell and Rydalch led the Cougars with a team-high four points apiece, while Purcell had a team-high five rebounds and three assists. BYU shot 50.0 percent from behind the arc to San Diego’s 0.0 percent.
Rydalch opened the second period converting a layup to cut the Toreros lead to three, 21-18. With the basket, Rydalch scored her 2,000th point as a Cougar, becoming the fifth member of the 2,000 Point Club in BYU women’s basketball history. Rydalch then cut the San Diego lead to one, 21-20, giving her eight points through the first 12 minutes of play.
Maya Hood extended the Toreros lead to seven, 27-20 at the 4:48 mark of the second period to give San Diego its largest lead of the game thus far. Purcell then reduced the Torero lead to four, 27-23, sinking one of two free throws. On the next Cougars’ out of bounds play, Cassie Broadhead continued BYU’s run, cutting the deficit to two, 27-25, as she slashed through the lane to convert a wide-open layup. Rydalch tied the game 31-31 on a layup of her own with 1:40 to go in the half.
Teams then traded baskets on the final possessions of the second period to make the halftime score 36-33 in the Torero’s favor.
BYU shot 44.1 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of play, while San Diego shot 48.4 percent. The Cougars turned the ball over five times while the Toreros gave the ball 10 times, and San Diego outrebounded BYU 22 to 15 in the first half. Rydalch led all scorers with a game-high 12 points, going 6 for 13 from the field.
The Toreros came out strong out of the break to go up seven, 42-35, behind four points from Sydney Williams. BYU then scored on three straight possessions behind five points from Pulsipher to make the score 42-40, forcing a Torero timeout. San Diego went on a 9-0 run out of its timeout to go up 11, 53-42, with 3:18 to go in the third period. Broadhead scored four straight points to cut the deficit to seven, 53-46, but the Toreros scored on the next possession to give them the 55-46 lead going in to the fourth period.
To open the fourth period, Broadhead made another jumper to give her six straight points and a total of 10 for the game. San Diego then extended its lead to 11, 59-48, on a 3-point field goal by Malina Hood at the 8:01 mark.
The Cougars cut the lead to eight, 61-53 on a reverse layup by Purcell with 4:29 to go in the game. At the 3:11 mark, Rydalch drove into the lane making it a five point advantage, 63-58, in the Toreros favor. San Diego then increased its lead back to nine with less than two minutes to go.
BYU women’s basketball will return to the Marriott Center New Years Eve to take on Saint Mary’s in its first home game of WCC play. Teams will tip off at 1 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv. Links to live stats and streamed audio for the game can be found on the BYU women’s schedule page.
After two periods of action, the Cougars had dished out nine assists to the Toreros two. For the game, BYU finished with 13 total assists. USD dished out 10 assists in the contest.
BYU had the advantage in steals through the first half with six. USD had one. The Cougars finished with 10 total steals while the Toreros had five steals.
For just the fifth time on the year, BYU was outrebounded by its opponent. San Diego finished with 47 total boards while the Cougars pulled down a total of 29 boards.
The Cougars recorded season bests in blocks with seven at San Diego.
BYU finished the game with 14 points from its bench. The Toreros bench had 12 points in the contest.
For the first time on the year, BYU finished the game with four players scoring in double figures. In the loss at San Diego, Rydalch had 23 points, Purcell contributed 14, Pulsipher tallied 11 points and Cassie Broadhead finished the game with 10 points.
Lexi Eaton Rydalch
At the 9:34 minute mark in the second period of the game at USD, Lexi Eaton Rydalch reach 2,000 points with her third basket of the game. She finished with a game-best 23 points for her eighth contest with 20-plus points. Rydalch also grabbed six rebounds and tied for team bests in assists with four.
Kalani Purcell led the team in rebounds in the first half with seven and finished the game with 11 total rebounds for team bests in that category. With 11 points, she picked up her fifth double-double of the year. Purcell also tied for team bests in assists with four, in blocks with three and was the second players to get three steals.