Rydalch’s last-second shot secures “lucky 13” win over the Dons

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Lexi Eaton Rydalch banked a half court shot with one second remaining to snatch the Cougars’ 13th win in a row. The 65-62 victory over San Francisco was the biggest comeback this season.

“I got to give each one of those ladies a lot of credit. They worked their tail off. You gotta have luck in life,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Never thought this would happen. I thought we’d catch them but a win like this was a great win.”

Lexi Eaton Rydlach focuses in on driving the ball across the Dons’ defense. Her final second game-winning shot secured the Cougars’ win. (Ari Davis)

BYU was down fourteen points with seven minutes to go. 

“I saw an opening and I felt good. I just let it fly,” Rydalch said. “We’ve been practicing half court shots after practice.”

The Dons played an aggressive first quarter and put up 12 points over the Cougars’ four in the first three minutes. BYU’s shots just wouldn’t fall.

Kylie Maeda fired up a 3-pointer and brought the Cougars within six with a minute and a half left in the first quarter.

The second quarter opened with a fast break point by Kalani Purcell but the Cougars’ just couldn’t hold on to the ball and committed five turnovers within three minutes.

The Cougars struggled defensively in the third quarter as the Dons continued to increase the lead to 51-43.

“If you were sitting at the bench with us you wouldn’t have thought we were losing. In that moment you would have thought we were up,” Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher said. “When it came down to it, the coaches know and we know that we can pull out.”

With seven minutes left in the fourth quarter the Dons claimed a fourteen point advantage, the largest of the game. But the Cougars didn’t quit. 

The Cougars went on a 14-0 run as the Dons committed seven turnovers in a six minute scoring drought. Rydalch nailed a 3-point shot to take BYU’s first lead since the first basket of the game. 

Rydalch put up a total of 27 points and 6 rebounds. Pulsipher contributed to the win with 13 points and swiped a season-high six steals. 

Purcell earned her 13th double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

The Cougars remain in first place in WCC standings and advance to 13-1 in conference and 21-4 overall. BYU remains undefeated at home and take on Santa Clara in the Marriott Center on Saturday.

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