“The first half was as good as we've played in a long time," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "I think what Lexi did in the first half was crucial. It was a great effort in the second half. Kalani had 21 rebounds, which is the second-most rebounds of any player I've coached here. I thought some girls came in and did some nice things for us."
Both teams were almost even in shooting percentage for the game, with BYU (2-2) shooting 41.6 percent and Utah State (2-2) shooting 41.7 percent. The teams were even in the paint, both scoring 32 points. The Cougars capitalized on turnovers, scoring 27 points off of the Aggies’ miscues in the game.
Rydalch led all scorers with 28 points, including four treys. She also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Purcell had a double-double in the win with BYU career highs in rebounds with 21, in points with 14 points, in assists with six and in steals with three. Kylie Maeda led all players with seven assists to go with her seven points. Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher had 10 points and three rebounds in the game.
Micaelee Orton got the scoring started in the first period with a quick two points for the Cougars. A steal by Rydalch set up Purcell for the easy layup, putting BYU up 7-3 with 8:09 remaining in the period. Utah State answered back with a 7-0 run to take back the lead until Maeda drilled a 3-pointer to tie it up at 10-10.
With 1:53 on the clock, Cassie Broadhead got the layup and the foul for three points to extend the lead to 23-16. The Cougars finished the period on a 9-2 run to go up 27-18.
Rydalch scored 13 points in the second period to extend BYU’s lead. After hitting back-to-back 3-pointers, the Cougars led 44-38 with 3:18 until the break. Maeda hit a floater at the buzzer, putting BYU up 50-34 heading into the locker room.
The Aggies started the third period strong, going on a 7-0 run to close the gap. A layup by Pulsipher at the 5:36 mark stopped the run, making it 57-41.
The Cougars responded with a run of their own, scoring nine unanswered points to end the period. Four of those points came within seconds of each other. Amanda Wayment grabbed a board and put it back up for two. Then, Purcell stole the inbound pass and dished it to Broadhead who another quick two, extending the lead to 67-46 with 2:04 left in the third period.
The fourth period was sluggish for the Cougars offensively, scoring just 10 points. Despite Utah State’s 20-point outburst, BYU was able to hold on to the 81-69 win. Wayment sealed the win with a layup at the final buzzer.
The Cougars will hit the road this week to participate in the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic in California. Their first game will be against Georgia on Friday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. Live stats will also be available on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.