BYU women’s basketball fell to Gonzaga 73-55 in front of a sell-out crowd Saturday afternoon in Spokane, WA.
The Bulldogs’ defense proved to be too much for the Cougars as they snapped BYU’s 16-game win streak, the longest streak in program history.
Despite defensive pressure from the Bulldogs, Kylie Maeda put up a career and season-high 19 points. Kalani Purcell earned her sixteenth double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
But it just wasn’t enough for the Cougars.
The Bulldogs came out ready to fight as they forced eight turnovers on BYU in first quarter alone. BYU struggled offensively as leading scorer Lexi Eaton Rydalch was 0-5 from the field and had just two points off free-throws in the first quarter.
The Cougars trailed by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, but thanks to Maeda – who went 4-4 from the arc in the first half – BYU cut the deficit to 28-24 going into the half.
This was the first time in three years BYU didn’t trail by double-digits going into halftime in Spokane.
BYU wasn’t ready to let this game go to the Bulldogs. With a deep shot by Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher, the Cougars took their first lead of the game with 7:30 left in third quarter. BYU thrived on that momentum as they pulled out a 42-40 advantage entering the final frame.
The Cougars were down by three with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter but after turning it over three times in a row, the Bulldogs soon capitalized on an eleven point lead. BYU couldn’t keep up.
The victory slipped away as Gonzaga outscored BYU 33-14 in the last quarter.
The Kennel remains a tough venue to play as BYU still hasn’t won a game at Gonzaga since 2000.
Despite the loss, BYU enters the WCC tournament in Las Vegas next week as the number one seed. BYU will get an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament with a tournament win.