A double-double from Kalani Purcell helped BYU women’s basketball to a 67–56 win over the University of Hawai’i in the Tom Weston Classic held on the campus of BYU-Hawai’i on Thursday.
“This was a good win for us. We played a good game, especially in the first half. We got a little tired in the second half and we didn’t have a lot of depth in our inside play,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I thought Kalani played a great game. She played all 40 minutes tonight. Her rebounding was excellent. I also thought Kylie had a very good game and Makenzi shot the ball very well tonight.”
Purcell recorded her third double-double of the season ending the game with 16 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, while also adding seven assists and two steals. Lexi Eaton Rydalch finished the contest with a game-high 19 points, shooting 7-for-15 from the field. She also added four rebounds and four assists. Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher also scored 18 points for the Cougars, shooting an astounding 80.0 percent (4-of-5) from behind the arc. Pulsipher also added two rebounds and two assists.
The University of Hawai’i (4-4) scored the first points of the game off a jumper by Kalei Adolpho, who finished the game with a team-high 17 points for the Rainbow Wahine. Afterward, BYU (5-3) went on a 9-3 run fueled by a 3-pointer by Pulsipher and a three-point play by Purcell. Teams then traded baskets midway through the first period with the Wahine making a run of their own to bring the score to 11-9 with BYU in the lead at the 4:42 mark.
Pulsipher extended the Cougars lead with 10 seconds left in the period converting her second 3-point field goal to put BYU up 18-12 going into the second period. Pulsipher led the Cougars with eight points, going 3-for-3 from the field, through the first 10 minutes of action, while Purcell brought down a game-high six rebounds.
The Wahine opened the period with two free throws and a fast break layup cutting the Cougars lead down to two, 18-16. BYU proceeded to go on a 9-0 run with jumpers from Amanda Wayment and Purcell, and a 3-pointer and floater by Kylie Maeda to put the Cougars up 27-16.
BYU went into the half holding a 13-point lead over Hawai’i, 31-18, with the Cougars outscoring the Wahine, 13 to 6, in the second period. The first half points were evenly distributed with Pulsipher leading all Cougar scorers with 10, shooting 4-for-5 from the field. Rydalch added seven, and Purcell and Maeda added five points apiece. Purcell went into the half with a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Cougars came out strong to start the second half pushing their lead to 17 behind two fast break layups by Rydalch. BYU continued to push the ball up the court looking for opportunities to score as Maeda found Pulsipher on the wing for her third 3-point field goal of the game. Purcell then put the Cougars up 48-25 hitting a shot from behind the arc to give her a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the game.
At the 1:28 mark, Rydalch hit one of two free throws giving her 19 points for the game, with 11 coming in the third period. With the made free throw, the Cougars went up 25, 54-29. Through three periods of play the Cougars held the Wahine to just 31.7 percent shooting from the field, while BYU shot 51.2 percent from the field through the first 30 minutes of action.
Hawai’i started off the fourth period on a 4-0 run behind a 3-pointer from Marissa Wimbley for the Wahine’s first 3-pointer of the game. Purcell cut the run with a fast break bucket and reverse layup off an inbounds pass by Rydalch giving her 14 points. On the next play, Pulsipher made her fourth 3-point basket of the game on a pass from Rydalch to put the Cougars up 61-42.
On a layup by Ashleigh Karaitiana, Hawai'i cut the Cougars lead to 14, 63-49. BYU proceeded to work deep into the shot clock to try to keep it cushion but couldn’t convert. Hawai’i then cut the Cougars lead to nine, 63-54, on a 3-pointer by Leah Salanoa, converting its fourth 3-point basket of the period.
In the last minute of the game, Hawai’i brought pressure, but BYU was able to hold off the Wahine’s late surge as Cassie Broadhead made a pair of free throws to keep the Cougar lead at nine, 65-56.
The Cougars took advantage of Hawai’i turnovers as they scored 19 points off Wahine giveaways, while the University of Hawai’i had 11. BYU also recorded six steals to Hawai’i’s three.
BYU women’s basketball plays its third and final game of the Tom Weston Classic on Saturday, as the take on No. 11 Texas A&M. The teams tip off at 2 p.m. HT. Links for live stats and video streaming can be found on the BYU women’s basketball schedule page.