PROVO, Utah—Fresh off winning the UNM Thanksgiving Tournament, BYU women’s basketball (3-2) is set to compete in another tournament. The Cougars travel to Maui, Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. BYU plays UNLV (5-0) on Friday, Dec. 2, at 4:30 p.m. HT and No. 15 Oregon State (3-1) on Saturday, Dec. 3,at 6:30 p.m. HT.
BYU AT A GLANCE
BYU’s three starting guards lead the way in scoring. Senior Makenzi Pulsipher tops the list averaging 15.0 points with junior Cassie Broadhead putting up 14.4 points a game. Senior Kristine Nielson, who was named the MVP of the UNM Thanksgiving tournament and this week’sWCC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, chips in 9.8 points a contest. Senior All-American and the 2016 West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year, Kalani Purcell, grabs a team-best 9.4 rebounds while contributing 9.4 points a game.
As a team, BYU is scoring 64.4 points per game while shooting 42.0 percent from the field, 29.5 percent from behind the 3-point line and 67.3 percent from the charity stripe. The Cougars pull down 37.2 rebounds a game.
In this year’s WCC preseason poll chosen by the coaches, BYU, the defending regular season conference champion, was selected to finish second in the league race behind Gonzaga. Purcell and Pulsipher were named to the Preseason All-Conference team.
• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78), 16th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #23 M. Pulsipher, 15.0 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #32 K. Purcell, 9.4 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 K. Purcell, 4.6 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #20 C. Broadhead, 2.2 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #20C. Broadhead, 1.8 bpg
UNLV AT A GLANCE
UNLV has compiled a perfect 5-0 record and iscoming off home wins over Tennessee State and Ole Miss. The Rebels return eight letterwinners along with three starters.
Dakota Gonzalez is one of four players putting up double-digit points for UNLV. She leads the way averaging 15.0 points. Paris Strawther follows with 13.6 points and a team-best 8.2 rebounds per contest. Nikki Wheatley and Brooke Kohnson round out the scoring output for the Rebels with 12.4 and 11.6 points per game, respectively. UNLV is averaging75.2 points per game and shoots 42.3 percent from the field and 64.7 percent from the free-throw line.
• Head coach: Kathy Olivier (UNLV, ‘82), Ninth season
• Team’s leading scorer: #12D. Gonzalez, 15.0 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #03 P. Strawther, 8.2 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #10 N. Wheatley, 4.4 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #10 N. Wheatley, 2.4 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #21 K. Powell, 1.6 bpg
BYU leads 29-12. Coach Judkins is 19-7 all-time against the Rebels. The two teams played last in Provo in the Smith Fieldhouse on Dec. 4, 2014,where the Cougars recorded a 76-71 win. When the two teams play on a neutral court, the series is tied at 1-1.
OREGON STATE AT A GLANCE
No. 15 Oregon State, the hosts of the tournament, is 3-1 on the year. They return seven letterwinners and two starters from last year’s team that played in the finals of the NCAA tournament.
OSU has three players that are scoring in double figures, led by 14.3 points from Marie Gulich. She’s followed by 12.3 points from Sydney Wiese and 12.0 points from Katie McWilliams. Gulich tops the leaderboard in the rebound category, pulling down 6.3 boards a contest. Oregon Sate is averaging 71.0 points per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 66.0 percent from the charity stripe.
• Head coach: Scott Rueck (Oregon State, ‘91), Seventh season
• Team’s leading scorer: #21 M. Gulich, 14.3 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #21 M. Gulich, 6.3 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #24 S. Wiese, 5.0 apg
• Team’s steals leader: ##24 S. Wiese/#11 G. Hanson, 1.8 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #04 K. Orum, 3.0 bpg
Oregon State leads 6-4. Coach Judkins is 0-1 against the Beavers. The last time the two teams played was in Laie, Hawaii on Nov. 29, 2014 when Oregon State participated in the Tom Weston Invitational. In that game, BYU picked up the 71-61 win. When playing on a neutral court, BYU is 1-2 against OSU.
BYU is back in Utah for the remainder of December. The Cougars host in-state foe Weber State, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m. BYU then heads to Salt Lake City to take on in-state rival Utah on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 5:30 p.m.