Seniors honored by BYU women’s basketball team

The four seniors of the BYU women’s basketball team pose with head coach Jeff Judkins before their final home game. (BYU Photo)

Four Cougars walked off the court at the Marriott Center after winning their final basketball home game on Saturday.

Their teammates gathered around them, honoring them for their years on the team.

The night featured a big win for the Cougars before heading into the WCC tournament and the seniors were a big part of making that win happen.

“Tonight was the way these seniors are,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “This was a great example of what kind of players and young ladies they are. Get down, don’t have your best game, play hard, believe in each other, stick together, listen to the coaches. That’s how they’ve been their whole career.”

Judkins said he was appreciative of every senior and their unique skill sets and qualities.

“Each one of them are different personality-wise,” Judkins said. “Each one of them brings something new to the table. But, when it all gets mixed together in a bowl, it’s the best dang cookies you ever ate.” Judkins said.

Makenzi Pulsipher, a co-captain for the Cougars, joined the 1,000-point club this season. She shot 36.9 from the 3-point line.

Her offensive capabilities made her tough to defend.

“Makenzi is one of the best shooters in the league,” Judkins said. “Makenzi doesn’t get enough credit with what she does for this team.”


Pulsipher is also a secret weapon on defense as well, with 191 steals and 256 rebounds in her career.

Kalani Purcell, another lead defender and co-captain, has been a force to be reckoned with in her two years playing for BYU.

Even in her limited time, she is the eighth all-time BYU rebounder with 719 boards and recorded 33 double-doubles.

Purcell valued her time at BYU and the “life-long friends” she made in Provo.

“You don’t really have a way to describe this,” Purcell said. “Winning was fun, playing is always fun, but, for me anyway, just getting to know these girls and having the relationship we have… It’s not just about basketball for me, being on this team is about having these girls as a family.”

Kristine Nielson scored in the double digits 10 times this season and gave the Cougars a much needed boost in many games.

The guard from Florida has stepped up as a starter and the team’s third co-captain, averaging 27.4 minutes each game her senior year.

Micaelee Orton, a 6-foot-2 forward, came back from a knee injury to play out her fourth year on the BYU team.

“Orton has finally come to her own this year,” Judkins reflected. “Figured out what she needs to play, and she’s money at the foul line, which she showed tonight. But, she’s a good all-around player.”

The four seniors have been an integral part of the team and have high hopes for the tournament in Las Vegas.

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