LAS VEGAS – Five players put up double-digits in the Cougars’ highest scoring game this season as No. 1 seed BYU women’s basketball blew out No. 4 seed Santa Clara 87-67 Monday afternoon to advance to the WCC Tournament championship game.
BYU head coach Jeff Judkins was proud of the way his team handled Santa Clara’s defensive edge.
“That zone is tough,” Judkins said. “I thought my team handled themselves well. The key was the third quarter. They came out and jumped on us quick. I looked at my girls and they knew that they were alright. They had to hit shots to take the zone and they did.”
Lexi Eaton Rydalch fueled the Cougars’ scoring with 25 points and eight rebounds. With 2,490 total career points, Rydalch passes Danny Ainge to become BYU’s fourth all-time scoring leader and ties LMU’s Hank Gathers as the WCC all-time scorer.
“We didn’t even play fast break offense and she scored all them points. Imagine if we would have done that.” Judkins said.
Kylie Maeda added 16 points and five assists to BYU’s offensive threat. Pulsipher finished with 17 points and Cassie Broadhead contributed 11 points off the bench.
Kalani Purcell’s 17 rebounds were just one shy of tying the WCC tournament rebound record in a single game.
“We were a little bit jittery at the start,” Rydalch said. “We just adjusted to that and said to each other hey, ‘take a few breaths and relax’ because we were making the right decisions but rushing them a little bit.”
The Cougars took control in the third and hit a perfect 11-11 from the free-throw line as BYU led 53-47 going into the fourth.
BYU shut down the Broncos with a 11-1 run and led by as many as 23 points in the final quarter. The Cougars scored more points in the fourth quarter than they did in the whole first half.
The Cougars play the winner of No. 6 seed San Francisco and No. 2 seed Saint Mary’s in the championship game. Tip off will be at 1 p.m. (PST) tomorrow and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
BYU has advanced to the finals three out of the last four years and this would be the second year in a row BYU takes home a WCC Tournament title.