MALIBU, Calif. — Behind an incredible first half of outside shooting and 19 points from Makenzi Pulsipher, BYU women’s basketball cruised past Pepperdine for the 73-47 win at the Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
"We played really well tonight against their zone," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "This was a solid team effort by everyone. I thought the first half we played as good as we’ve played all year. Brenna (Chase) had a great game tonight. She made some key 3s that opened up the game for us."
In the win, the Cougars (11-7, 5-2) converted a season-high 14 3-point field goals to the Waves (5-13, 3-4) five. BYU also pulled down a season-best 49 rebounds.
For the second time this season, five BYU players finished the game in double figures. Pulsipher led the way with a game-high 19 points and five assists. Cassie Broadhead added 14 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four blocks.
Kristine Nielson and Brenna Chase chipped in 11 points apiece, while Chase’s 11 points made for a season- and career-high. Kalani Purcell added 10 points and 13 rebounds, for her 10th double-double of the year.
On BYU’s first possession, Purcell found Pulsipher behind the arc for the game’s first field goal. At the 5:05 mark, Pulsipher gave BYU the 6-3 lead, as she converted her second 3-pointer of the contest.
Pepperdine then took its first lead of the game, 7-6, out of the media timeout. With 3:19 to go in the first quarter, Chase helped the Cougars regain the 9-6 lead as she buried a long trey. BYU took the 14-7 lead into the second quarter, with 12 points coming from behind the 3-point line.
Broadhead hit back-to-back 3-point field goals to start the second quarter, giving BYU the 20-7 advantage. The Cougars continued to increase the lead, making five more 3s in the second period. BYU’s 11 first half 3-pointers alone made for the most in a game all season.
The Cougars took the 29-point 41-12 lead into halftime. Pepperdine’s 12 points made for the lowest scoring output by an opponent in the first half this season. 33 of BYU’s 41 first half points came from behind the arc, with Pulsipher leading all scorers going into the break with 16 points.
Purcell opened the half with a baseline jumper, extending the BYU lead to 31, 43-12. Sinking a pair of free throws, Broadhead broke into double figures with 4:06 to go in the third—the junior’s free throws gave the Cougars the 51-17 lead.
On a pass from Broadhead, Shalae Salmon finished in the paint to start the fourth period and give BYU the 62-27 advantage.
Out of the media timeout, Chase found an open Nielson behind the arc—Nielson’s third 3-pointer counted for BYU’s 14th 3-point field goal of the night.
The Cougars continue league play at home this Saturday, January 21, when they host Pacific in a 2 p.m., MT tip. The game will be carried live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio.
With the win over Pepperdine, BYU women’s basketball improved its record to 11-7, 5-2 on the year.
BYU was up 41-12 at the break at Pepperdine, a 29-point lead. They had their largest lead by 33, 60-27 with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. The 41 points mark the third time that the Cougars have scored 40-plus points in the first half. The 11 treys made at the break are the most made 3-pointers in a half all season by BYU.
The Cougars held the Waves to just 12 points in the first half of action. That’s the lowest score by an opponent in a half this year.
For just the second time this year, five players recorded double digits in points. Pulsipher (19), Broadhead (14), Nielson (11), Chase (11), Purcell (10).
BYU made 14 3-point buckets in the win over Pepperdine. That’s the most made in a game this year.
Makenzi Pulsipher led all scorers through the first half of action with 16 points for her 13th game with double-digit points. At the break, she was 4-10 from 3-point range, had one rebound, three assists and two steals. Pulsipher finished with a game-best 19 points, 12 of which were from 3-point land. She was perfect at the free-throw line, going 5 for 5, tied her season-high in assists with five, grabbed two rebounds and had two steals.
Kalani Purcell had the most rebounds at the break with six. She pulled down a game-best 13 boards and with 10 points recorded her 10th double-double of the season. She had dished out three assists and scored two points. Purcell dished out four assists in the contest while shooting 5 of 11 from the field.
Cassie Broadhead had a first half best four assists along with nine points while going 3 of 6 from behind the arc. For the game, she finished with 14 points for her 17th game putting up double figures in points. Broadhead also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds and dished out a game-best seven assists and had career and game highs in blocks with four.
Kristine Nielson had collected three steals in the first half of play while contributing five points, going 2 of 2 from the free throw line. She finished the game with 11 points for her eighth game putting up double figures in points along with game and career highs in steals with four.
Brenna Chase came off the bench and picked up career highs in points with 11 and in steals with three. She also had three assists, one rebound and one block.