BYU women’s basketball wins first game in Hawaii invitational

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Natalie Bothwell
Lexi Eaton-Rydalch breaks past her defender in the game against Fort Lewis. Rydalch leads the Cougars scoring an average of 22 points per game and scored 25 points to beat BYU-H. (Natalie Bothwell)

The BYU women’s basketball team traveled to Hawaii this week to participate in the Tom Weston Invitational and beat BYU-Hawaii 85-40 to win the first of three games.

The Tom Weston Invitational played on BYU-Hawaii campus is the only time the BYU women’s basketball team has ever matched up against the Seasiders. ¬†The Cougars entered the invitational with a 3-3 preseason record. The Seasiders entered 3-0, their best opening preseason record in program history.

BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said he wanted his team not to back down from the challenge presented by the Division-I Cougars and they fought hard to the end, but they were outplayed and the Cougars beat the Seasiders by 45 points with an ending score of 85-40.

The Cougars won the game because of turnovers and steals. The Cougars also shot 50 percent from the field. BYU-Hawaii had 16 turnovers in the first half and added five more the second half and allowed BYU to score 22 points off 21 turnovers. BYU also had 16 steals to keep the momentum up and seal the win.

The BYU bench saw a lot of court time against the Seasiders and nine BYU players got on the scoreboard. Lexi Eaton-Rydalch has averaged 22 points per game this season and she led the Cougars with 25 points last night. Kalani Purcell was second on the scoreboard for the cougars and led them in rebounds, she had 12 points and 7 rebounds. The leading scorer for the Seasiders was a former University of Utah guard Valerie Nawahine with 11 points. Her 11 points combined with 10 points from Kjirsten¬†Nelson accounted for half of the Seasiders’ total points.

The Cougars continue invitational play Dec. 3 at 9 p.m. MST against the predicted winners of the Big West conference, the University of Hawaii, and viewers can watch a live-stream of the game on the BYU-Hawaii website.

 

 

 

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