BYU women’s basketball seniors aiming to lead Cougars

Makenzi Pulsipher handles the ball last season. Pulsipher was the team's second-leading scorer a year ago. (Ari Davis)
Makenzi Pulsipher handles the ball. Pulspiher is one of four seniors leading the BYU women’s basketball team. (Ari Davis)

The BYU women’s basketball team is ready for a successful 2016-17 season with its four seniors leading the charge.

The Cougars are 10-7 on the season and are led by Kalani Purcell, Makenzi Pulsipher, Kristine Nielson and Micaelee Orton.

“They’ve done a good job with pushing the team, probably more than me,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Their leadership is big.”

Pulsipher joined the BYU 1,000 points club on Jan. 7 during BYU’s win over Pacific. But while her play speaks for itself, she opts to be a vocal leader for the Cougars. When the team stumbles on hard times, she tries to get them back on track.

“There’s going to be times when things aren’t going right,” Pulsipher said. “Someone needs to step back and bring the team back to reality.”

Pulsipher, Nielson and Orton have played under Judkins for five years so they certainly have plenty of collegiate experience. Orton said their experience will prove beneficial for the young team.

“We’re all experienced. We’ve been under (Judkins) for a long time,” Orton said. “We know the system and we know how things are supposed to be.”

The group of seniors is carrying the Cougars this season; but the group is also motivating the underclassmen.

“We’re there to support, to help and to push,” Nielson said.

The ball is going to move a lot this season. All the girls are able and capable of playing at their highest peak. Because of this, Pulsipher said she’s confident in the Cougars’ ability to win the West Coast Conference regular and tournament title, as well as make it to the NCAA tournament.

“I feel like we’re good enough,” Pulsipher said. “It would be disappointing if we didn’t because I have that much faith and confidence in this team.”

The seniors are trying to create a memorable experience for their final season together in Provo.

Pulsipher said she wants the seniors to build a legacy they’ll be proud to leave behind for future Cougars.

“I hope that we leave them with a positive note of what their future can be here as well,” Pulsipher said. “I hope we set an example with those that watch us and those who have dreams and goals just like we did.”

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