Rydalch’s career-high drives BYU over Pacific 67-57

Lexi Eaton Rydlalch grabs a rebound over Gonzaga in the WCC Championships last year. Rydalch scored a career-high of 38 points in tonight’s win over Pacific. (Universe Archives)

Lexi Eaton Rydalch scored a career-high 38 points in BYU’s 67-57 victory over Pacific in Stockton, California on Thursday night.

The Cougars extended their winning streak to 11 games and took first place in the West Coast Conference standings.

“This was a great game by Lexi. She really carried us tonight,” head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Our zone (defense) made a difference in the game and the play from our two guards, Kylie and Makenzi was awesome.”

Rydalch, who was was named player of the week by three different organizations, put up over half of BYU’s total points and seven rebounds. She has scored 28 points or more in eight games this season.

Rydlach now has 2,310 career points. She passed Tresa Spaulding Hamson to move into second place in BYU’s all-time scoring list.

Pacific’s offense took advantage of the Cougars’ turnovers in the first quarter and led 11-5 with under four minutes left. Rydalch sunk a 3-pointer and a jumper to bring BYU within one and the Cougs tied it 13-13 after one quarter.

Kylie Maeda bumped the Cougars ahead 18-17 in the second quarter with back-to-back shots and the Cougars finished the first half ahead 27-26.

Rydalch continued to dominate the Cougar’s offense after halftime. A quick jumper increased BYU’s advantage to 36-30 with 6:45 on the clock in the third quarter. Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher banked a 3-pointer and a free throw as the Cougars opened up to a 10 point lead.

BYU started to pull away during the third and dominated on offense. Rydalch and Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher pushed the lead to 18 at one point and the Cougars lead 50-36 at the end of the third quarter.

The Tigers cut the lead to four, but Rydalch scored off a turnover to regain a 60-52 lead and killed any momentum left in Pacific’s tank.

Morrison was second in team scoring and finished with a total of 16 points. Kalani Purcell contributed four points and ten rebounds.

The Tigers, who lead the conference in free throw shooting, made 86 percent of shots from the charity stripe. The Cougars made 69 percent of free throws.

The Cougars have won 17 of their last 18. BYU improved to 11-1 in conference play and sits atop the WCC after San Diego’s loss.

On Saturday BYU continues on the road to Saint Mary’s for another WCC match-up.

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