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 during 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 a three-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, 7-0, 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 on 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.