PROVO, Utah – Kylie Maeda’s career-high tying 17 points helped spark BYU women’s basketball past Pacific 79-62 Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center.
“I thought in the first quarter we played great defense and capitalized on Pacific's mistakes,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Overall though, I'm proud of our team. I challenged them at halftime and told them that they had worked too hard to let the game slip, so they'd better bust it. I thought they came out in the second half with a lot of energy - doing what we needed to do offensively and defensively.”
Maeda finished the game with 17 points to go along with a team-high five assists. Lexi Eaton Rydalch added a game-high 26 points to give her 2,065 for her career, passing Erin Thorn for fourth-most all-time. Kalani Purcell contributed a game-high 15 rebounds and five assists while Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher added 14 points. Kristine Fuller Nielson rounded out the double-digit scoring effort for the Cougars with a career-high 11 points, getting nine of those in the fourth quarter.
Pacific (8-7, 1-3 WCC) took an early 5-4 lead before BYU (10-4, 2-1 West Coast Conference) scored the next 16 straight, capped off by a pair of Eaton Rydalch free throws, to go up 20-5.
The Cougars finished the first quarter on a 6-2 run to extend their advantage to 16 at 26-10. Maeda earned a new season high in points in the first 10 minutes of play with 12.
BYU led by as many as 21 early in the second quarter until the Tigers cut the lead back to 14, 33-19, on a layup.
A 3-pointer and back-to-back Desire Finnie steals and layups brought Pacific back within single digits at 42-36 to end the half.
The third quarter started with an offensive blitz of 3-pointers from both sides before the Cougars got back out to a 10-point lead at 54-44.
Rydalch passed Thorn’s career scoring record on a pair of shots from the charity stripe to extend BYU’s advantage to 12, 61-49, late in the third quarter.
The Tigers cooled off early in the fourth as the Cougars scored 13-consecutive points to take a 76-49 advantage.
Despite a late 13-3 rally from Pacific, BYU closed out the game with a 79-62 win.
The Cougars hit the road next to take on Santa Clara Thursday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m. PST. The game will be broadcast live on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. Links to live stats and the audio feed can be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
With the win, BYU improves to 5-0 at home on the season. The Cougars outscored the Tigers 26 to 10 in the first period and went into the half up 42-36. BYU outscored Pacific 37 to 26 in the second half for the 79-62 win.
The Cougars finished the contest with four players in double figures: Rydalch (26), Maeda (17), Pulsipher (13), Nielson (11). This counts for the second time this season that four Cougars have scored in double figures.
BYU shot 45.2 percent from the field to Pacific’s 29.2. BYU outrebounded Pacific 46 to 40, tying its season-high rebound record. The Cougars dished out 22 assists to the Tigers 12.
The Cougars scored 30 of their 79 points in the paint, while the Tigers scored 20 points in the paint. BYU had 28 points off of turnovers to Pacific’s 19.
Lexi Eaton Rydalch had 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals through the first half of action. She finished the contest with 26 points, passing Erin Thorn’s 2,061 points with 1:16 to go in the third period, making her the fourth leading scorer in BYU history. She now has 2,065 points in her career as Cougar. Rydalch brought down seven rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals.
Kylie Maeda scored a season-high 17 points as well as tying her career-high. Maeda scored 12 points, going 5 for 5 from the field and 2 for 2 from behind the arc, in the first period of play. She finished the game tied for a game-high five assists.
Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher went into halftime with nine points, three assists and two rebounds. She finished the game with 14 points, four assists, four rebounds and one steal.
Kalani Purcell finished the game with a game-high 15 rebounds, tied for a game-high five assists and led the team in assists with three.
Kristine Fuller Nielson recorded a new career-high 11 points, shooting 4 for 9 from the field.â€‹