Rydalch leads BYU women’s basketball to roar past Loyola Lions

Lexi Eaton Rydalch launches a shot over the Portland defense during a conference game earlier this season. (Universe Photo)

BYU women’s basketball roared past LMU 82-75 Thursday night led by Lexi Eaton Rydalch’s record-breaking scoring. The Cougars opened the second half of WCC conference play on the road with another win for a nine-game streak.

Rydalch fueled the Cougars’ offense with a season-high 31 points as she passed Alex Cowling and moved into first place as the WCC’s all time leading scorer with 2,235 career points.

Kalani Purcell, who was named WCC Player of the week for the third time in a row, collected 14 points and 14 rebounds. Purcell was 2 assists short of a triple-double for the second game in a row.

“Lexi played a great game. I think she probably played one of her best games tonight,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “Kalani and Makenzi also played very well and were vital to the team’s win.”

LMU started with a high-scoring first quarter but Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher scored 6 of her 19 points on back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 19-19 with 3:20 left.

The Lions kept up with the Cougars’ pace in the second quarter and shot 48 percent from the field, compared to BYU’s 36 percent. But the Cougars’ outside shooting and 42 percent behind the arc contributed to their halftime lead of 40-37.

The Cougars’ turned up the heat after half time and continued to dominate throughout the third quarter. BYU shotn47 percent from the field, draining 14 points from the paint compared to 8 by LMU. A layup by Kylie Maeda pushed the lead to 60-52 with 1:58 on the clock in the third quarter. Pulsipher’s two shots from the charity stripe brought the score to 64-57 going into the fourth.

“We had a great team effort tonight,” Judkins said. “We made some crucial stops when we needed to. This is a very good win for us because it is tough to win on the road.”

Pulsipher put up another layup with 6:55 left on the clock to give the Cougars a 13 point lead. Rydalch made BYU’s final two baskets on the free throw line to finish the game 82-75.

BYU’s quick offense generated 10 fastbreak points while LMU didn’t score any. The Cougars’ also had 23 points off turnovers compared to the Lion’s 17. Amanda Wayment put up eight points off the bench and added seven to BYU’s total of 46 rebounds.

BYU and San Diego sit atop the conference standings in first place at 9-1. Next up on the road is a rematch against Pepperdine on Saturday.



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