PROVO, UT— Lexi Eaton Rydalch’s half-court shot with 1.0 remaining in the game sealed the win for BYU, 65-62, Thursday over San Francisco. The Cougar women remain atop the West Coast Conference at 13-1.
“I have to give my team a lot of credit," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "That last seven minutes when we were down 12, the timeout came and I told them we had to defend. To go on a run like that defensively, I feel like that was the game. You have to give each one of those ladies a lot of credit, especially Lexi. She had two big shots tonight. I’m proud of her.”
The win over San Francisco (14-10, 5-8) extends the Cougars’ winning streak to 13 games in a row and they remain undefeated at home. BYU (21-4, 13-1) led for a total of one minute throughout the game.
Kalani Purcell had her 13th double-double with 11 total rebounds and 17 points. Rydalch led the team with 27 points and six rebounds. Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher also tallied 13 points and led the team with six steals, which is a season-high.
BYU trailed by eight going into the final quarter, and were down by 14 with 6:32 left in the game. Purcell made a jumper on the left side with five minutes to go and made another two-pointer cutting the Cougar deficit to just six points with four minutes left in the game. BYU trailed by just four with 2:32 left in the quarter after another Purcell layup. With a minute left in the game, the Cougars tied the game, 58-58, with eight straight points.
Rydalch made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 41 seconds to play, giving BYU a one-point, 61-60 lead. USF missed a jumper with 36 seconds remaining. On the next Cougar possession, Pulsipher made the second of two free throws extending the lead to two. San Francisco's Taylor Proctor was then fouled and went to the free throw line, tying up the score at 62-all with six seconds left.
BYU started off behind 15-6 in the early minutes of the first quarter. After a two-minute scoring drought, Kylie Maeda made a 3-point field goal to get the Cougars to 14, down by six. The Dons pulled ahead and ended the first quarter up, 25-14. The Cougars struggled to make a basket the last two minutes of the quarter.
The Cougars stayed tight on defense going into the second quarter, scoring six points during the first two minutes and did not allow the Dons any scoring opportunities. Maeda won the ball from a strong defensive push and passed it on to Pulsipher who scored a three with under 10 seconds on the shot clock. Maeda also had three back-to-back steals in the final minutes of the second period. Rydalch pushed strong to the basket to get the Cougars within five, 31-36 at the end of the half.
Two minutes into the third period, BYU trailed by four after buckets from Rydalch and Amanda Wayment. San Francisco hit a 3-pointer to push their lead to nine points, 43-34 with 6:50 left in the third quarter. For two and half minutes, the Cougars had another scoring drought, but Rydalch and Micaelee Orton knocked in two back-to-back buckets with less than a minute to go in the third quarter. San Francisco closed out the period up 51-43.
BYU returns to the Marriott Center hosting Santa Clara, Saturday, Feb, 13, at 12:00 p.m MT. The game can be seen live on BYUtv. Links to live stats can be found on the BYU women's basketball schedule page.
At the half, BYU led USF in free throws, shooting 87.5 percent to the Dons’ 83.3. The Cougars scored 14 points in the paint in the first 20 minutes of action, while the Dons had 10. BYU also led the rebounding battle 18 to 14.
BYU finished the game 23 of 28 from the charity stripe, while USF shot 18 of 19. Both teams finished the contest with 18 points in the paint. The Cougars brought down 34 rebounds, while the Dons grabbed 37. BYU led for one minute in the entire contest.
The Cougars tallied 15 steals to the Dons nine, and finished the game scoring 21 and 11 points off of turnovers, respectively.
BYU is now 18-0 on the year when they lead in assists, 15-3 when the team records more steals and 7-1 when they have more blocks.
With the win, the Cougars are now 13-1 in conference play and are 10-0 at home. BYU is now 3-0 in the month of February, and the Cougars are 12-2 against San Francisco all-time. BYU has now won 13-straight games.
For the 13th time this season, BYU had three players that finished the game in double-figures: Rydalch (27), Purcell (17) and Pulsipher (13).
Lexi Eaton Rydalch led BYU in scoring in the first half with 12 points, going 4 of 4 from the line. Hitting the winning shot with one second left, she finished the contest tying for game-highs in points with 27. She has now scored 27 points twice this year. Rydalch also had six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Kalani Purcell had eight points and a team-high six rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play. Purcell recorded her 13th double-double of the year, finishing the contest with 17 points and 11 rebounds. She also recorded two assists and two steals.
For the 16th time this season, Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher scored in double figures. Along with her 13 points, she pulled down four rebounds. She also finished the game with a team-high three assists and a season- and game-high six steals.
Amanda Wayment recorded five rebounds in the contest.
Cassie Broadhead finished the contest with three rebounds and two assists in 13 key minutes of the ball game.