BYU falls to USF for second conference loss
SAN FRANCISCO —Despite four Cougars scoring in double figures, BYU women’s basketball fell to the University of San Francisco, 70-63, at the War Memorial Gym on Thursday night.
"We let this one slip away from us," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We had too many turnovers and we didn’t execute both offensively and defensively when we needed to. We had our chances. We were a little flat. I thought Kalani had a good game with her 19 rebounds."
BYU (9-7, 3-2) finished the contest shooting 44.6 percent from the field to USF’s (9-7, 3-2) 37.5 percent. The Cougars also tallied 42 rebounds, while the Dons grabbed 35.
Cassie Broadhead led the Cougars with a team-high 18 points, scoring in double-digits for the 15th time on the year. Kalani Purcell posted yet another double-double--her ninth of the season and sixth in a row--scoring 10 points and pulling down a season-high 19 rebounds in the loss. Kristine Nielson and Amanda Wayment also scored in double-digits for the Cougars, with 13 and 10 respectively.
BYU’s first four points of the contest came from Makenzi Pulsipher, as she started the game 2-of-3 from the field. Broadhead then gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, 6-5, as the junior guard sank a pair of free throws. The Cougar women continued the game on a 9-2 run over the next three minutes of play.
Scoring a layup in the paint, Wayment stretched the Cougar lead to eight, 15-7, with 3:06 to go in the quarter. BYU took the 17-15 lead into the second period of play.
At the 6:41 mark, Brenna Chase gave BYU the 3-point advantage, 20-17, sinking her first 3-pointer of the contest. The Dons then tied the game at 22-all on a 3-point basket by Anna Seilund with 5:16 to go in the half.
The Cougars proceeded to go on a 5-0 run fueled by buckets by Purcell and Pulsipher. BYU took the 27-22 lead as Purcell made a touch-pass to a wide-open Pulsipher who buried the trey. After 20 minutes of play, BYU went into the locker room with the 33-28 halftime lead over USF.
The third quarter was a game of runs. USF opened the half on a 6-0 run, seizing the 34-33 lead. BYU then countered with a 6-0 run of its own, regaining the lead, 39-34. On the next two USF possessions, the Dons hit back-to-back 3-point field goals to make the score 40-39 in USF’s favor.
For the next three minutes of play, the Cougars outscored the Dons seven to zero, forcing a USF timeout. Out of the timeout the Dons went on a 7-1 run to close the quarter, making the score 47-all after 30 minutes of play.
Backed by five points by Seilund, San Francisco started the fourth period on a 9-2 run. At the 6:02 mark, Judkins called a timeout as the Cougars trailed 56-49. The Dons increased their lead to 12, 61-49, with 2:33 to go on the clock.
With 1:16 to go, the Cougars cut the USF advantage to six, 63-57, as Broadhead sank a deep 3-point field goal.
BYU proceeded to foul USF. With 56 second to play, Claudia Price made two free throws to give the Dons the eight-point 58-66 lead. Broadhead gave the Cougars hope, cutting the lead to four, 67-63, but the Dons prevailed with the 70-63 win.
BYU women’s basketball returns to the Marriott Center Saturday to continue conference play against San Diego. With a 12 p.m. MST start time, the game will be broadcast on BYUtv and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. Links to live stats can also be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.
BYU had a five-point edge at the break, 33-28. But after only scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter, the Cougars fell to the Dons, 70-63 and now have a 9-7, 3-2 record on the year.
In the first half, the Cougar women had scored 22 of their 33 points in the paint. The Dons had just six points in the paint. For the game, BYU scored 36 points in the paint while USF scored 16 points.
The Cougars had the advantage in the assists’ category with seven to the Dons six in the first half of play. At the end of the game, USF finished with the advantage dishing out 16 assists to BYU’s 13.
BYU had recorded three blocks in the first half while USF had two. The Cougars finished the contest with five blocks with the Dons recording four.
USF had the edge in steals through the first half of action with three to BYU’s one. In the game, the Dons had nine steals and the Cougars finished with just two.
BYU had grabbed 19 rebounds to USF’s 17 heading into halftime. For the game, the Cougars had 42 boards compared with 35 for the Dons.
At halftime, Kalani Purcell tied in most points scored with eight while leading the way in rebounds with nine. She had the most assists of any player with three. At the end of the game, Purcell had recorded her ninth double-double of the year and sixth straight with 10 points and a game-high 19 rebounds for season bests in that category. For the fourth time this year, she played all 40 minutes. Purcell tied for game highs in assists with four.
Cassie Broadhead picked up her 15th game scoring in double digits with a team-best 18 points. She tied for team and game highs in assists with four, grabbed three rebounds, had one block and one steal. Broadhead was 7-of-10 from the free throw line. She played all 40 minutes for the seventh time this year and the fourth in WCC games.
Kristine Nielson recorded her seventh game with double digits in points with 13. She also had two rebounds, one assist and one block.
Amanda Wayment came off the bench and tied in points through the first half of action with eight. She also had two rebounds and one assist. For the game, she finished with 10 points and six boards, both tie for season bests.
Brenna Chase played 17 minutes off the bench contributing five points, a team-best two blocks, two rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Sophomore guard Nani Falatea had a career-high 27 points and six 3-pointers but the BYU women’s basketball team…