The BYU women’s basketball team lost 73-47 to No. 24 Oklahoma University after a hard fought battle and some bad luck.
This was the first of two games the Cougars are scheduled to play this weekend and their shots wouldn’t fall, the ball wouldn’t stay in their hands and the loose ball possession calls just didn’t go their way.
“We gave them so many easy baskets early in the game to give them momentum,” head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Then we come down offensively and try to make a home-run play instead of making the easy play and that’s not our team. That’s not the way we play and that’s what Oklahoma did to us tonight, they got us out of what we’re good at.”
The Cougars shot 50 percent for field goals in the first period of the game, but went downhill from there and ended the night with a shooting percentage of 32. The Sooners shot 60 percent in the first half and 46 percent overall outscoring the Cougars by 26 points.
The Cougars had trouble gaining momentum with 24 turnovers for the game and 15 of those turnovers given up in the second half. Head coach Jeff Judkins said turning the ball over is something that the team cannot afford, especially on the road. The Cougars also gave away over 10 points from scrambling for the ball and losing possession. The Sooners won the majority of those possessions and took the opportunity to capitalize on the baskets.
Lexi Eaton-Rydalch was the Cougars leading scorer tonight with 15 points and Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher was close behind with 10 points for the night. Kalani Purcell led the Cougars with 14 rebounds and five assists in her second game sporting a Cougar jersey.
The Oklahoma University Sooners were coming off a tough four-point loss to North Texas earlier this week and were ready to redeem themselves with a win tonight. They came out determined and used their homecourt advantage. Sooners’ Peyton Little led the scoreboard with 21 points. Maddie Manning led the Sooners in rebounds and assists posting seven and five respectively.
“I thought they did a good job of really not letting us get penetration and making us work on the outside,” Judkins said. “We are a great shooting team, but we didn’t swing the ball enough to get those opportunities where they suck in and kick it out. You know, no matter what you can’t go on the road with a top 20 team and have 24 turnovers, you just can’t do that.”
If the Cougars had planned to make a comeback tonight, the turning point would have been at the start of the second half. They had the lead down to 15 with possession of the ball on a throw-in, but instead of passing the ball in for the open shot and basket, they turned the ball over. Judkins believes that moment was crucial to tonight’s loss.
The BYU women’s basketball team will travel on to Fort Collins Colorado to face Colorado State on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on BYU radio and the Cougars will have the chance to bring home a 1-1 record for the weekend and a 2-1 record for the season.