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Kristen Kerr | Posted: 16 Mar 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Kristen Kerr

Washington State tops BYU in first round of WNIT


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PROVO, Utah — Costly turnovers proved the difference as BYU women’s basketball fell to Washington State 72-64 in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament Thursday night at the Marriott Center.

“I don’t know what happened the second half. It seemed like we were really flat, maybe more mental than physical,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “We gave them a few too many easy baskets and we learned you can’t have 29 turnovers. I’m happy with my seniors and they’ve had a great career here.”

Despite BYU outshooting Washington State 57 percent to 42 percent from the field, the visiting Cougars scored 26 points off of turnovers. Makenzi Pulsipher led the homestanding Cougars with 23 points, followed by Cassie Broadhead’s 14. Kalani Purcell scored eight points, pulled down nine boards and recorded seven assists.

BYU started the night shooting 9-of-10 from the field, compared to Washington State’s 4-of-10. Three-consecutive jump shots from Pulsipher, Purcell and Broadhead sparked an early 6-0 lead two and a half minutes into the quarter. Pulsipher, Broadhead and Brenna Chase all connected on 3-pointers to put BYU up 22-11 at the end of the period.

Washington State responded with a 4-0 run to open the second quarter 22-15 and cut BYU’s lead down to seven points twice, but the homestanding Cougars maintained their composure. The team shot 70 percent from the field in the period en route to a 14-point advantage, 41-29, heading into halftime.

Once again, the visiting Cougars started a period in impressive fashion. They ignited a third quarter 9-3 run to trail by just two points, 46-44, with 6:10 on the clock. A jumper from Purcell and a layup from Jasmine Moody put BYU up by five, 50-45. Pulsipher and Chase hit back-to-back 3-pointers within 30 seconds of each other to give BYU an 11-point lead, 56-45, with 4:03 left in the quarter. Washington State fought to stay in the game and cut the deficit to one, 58-57, at the end of the third quarter.

A jumper from Amanda Wayment extended BYU’s lead 20 seconds into the final quarter, 60-57, before the visiting Cougars evened the score, 60-60 with 6:41 on the clock. Pulsipher scored on a layup to take a 62-60 lead with 5:47 to play before Washington State responded seconds later with a jumper to tie the game at 62-all. The visiting Cougars held BYU scoreless for almost five minutes of play as an 8-2 run gave them the 72-64 victory.

Washington State will play Wyoming on Saturday in the second round of the WNIT.

Postgame Notes


In its eighth WNIT appearance, BYU fell to Washington State 64-72.

Win the loss, the home-standing Cougars move to 5-5 all time against Washington State.

BYU shot a staggering 81.8 percent from the field in the first quarter, starting 8 of 8 as a team. The Cougars finished shooting 55.6 percent for the game.

For the tenth time this year, two BYU team members scored in double figures—Pulsipher (23), Broadhead (14).

Washington State outscored BYU 26 to 14 in points off of turnovers. BYU gave the ball away 29 times to WSU’s 13.


Makenzi Pulsipher led all scorers with 13 points at halftime. The senior finished the contest with a game and season-high 23 points, knocking down three 3-pointers. Pulsipher totaled nine games with 3-plus 3-pointers in the 2016-17 and 23 in her career.

Cassie Broadhead scored 14 points for BYU, going 5 of 8 from the field. The junior guard also grabbed six rebounds and tallied five assists. Broadhead posted 30 double-digit performances this season.

Kalani Purcell flirted with a triple-double recording eight points, nine rebounds and a game-high seven assists.

Kristine Nielson tied a season and career-high in assists. Her four assists make for her fifth career 3-plus assist game. Nielson also added three points and five rebounds in the loss. 

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Norma Bertoch | Posted: 14 Mar 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Norma Bertoch

It’s Cougars vs. Cougars in WNIT First Round game Thursday night


2017 WNIT Bracket

BYU vs. Washington State Game Notes

Washington State vs. BYU Game Notes

PROVO, Utah— Making its 13th postseason appearance and fifth in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), BYU women’s basketball (20-11) will host a first round game vs. Washington State (12-19), Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m., MDT.

The Cougars vs. Cougars game will be carried live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio.

BYU is one of 32 automatic qualifiers in this year’s 64-team tournament, representing the West Coast Conference.  Washington State is the automatic qualifier from the Pac-12.

Heading into this week’s first round game, BYU has a 10-7 record when competing in the WNIT.  The Cougars’ most recent appearance in the WNIT was in 2012-13 where they advanced to the third round. The team’s best finish was in the 2010-11 season when they advanced to the quarterfinal round.

In this year’s tournament field, BYU has played three of the participating teams. It beat St. Joseph’s in the UNM Thanksgiving Tournament, lost at Utah in December and went 1-2 against WCC foe Saint Mary’s.

BYU is led in scoring by WCC Player of the Year Cassie Broadhead, who averages a team-best 17.9 points per game. The junior guard’s point average is second in the WCC. Senior guard Makenzi Pulsipher is the next scoring threat for the Cougars. She puts up 13.1 points a contest. Senior All-American Kalani Purcell rounds out the scoring for BYU. She’s averaging a double-double with 12.9 points and a team-and league-high 10.6 boards per game. Purcell was named this year’s WCC Defensive Player of the Year and picked up her second-straight WCC Women’s Basketball First Team honor. Broadhead joined Purcell on the first team, with Pulsipher making the second team.

Overall, the Cougars are scoring 67.5 points per game, while shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 33.4 percent from behind the arc and 72.4 percent from the charity stripe. BYU pulls down 36.1 rebounds a contest.

• Head coach: Jeff Judkins (Utah, ‘78), 16th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #20 C. Broadhead, 17.9 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #32 K. Purcell, 10.6 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #32 K. Purcell, 4.8 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #23 M. Pulsipher, 2.5 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #20 32 K. Purcell, 1.3 bpg

Washington State enters the WNIT with a 12-19 record, finishing seventh in the Pac-12 regular season campaign.

Four players are scoring in double figures for Washington State, led by 14.7 points per game from sophomore forward Borislava Hristova. A pair of guards in Chanelle Molina and Alexys Swedlund follow in scoring with 12.8 and 10.9 points a game, respectively. Rounding out the double digit scoring for Washington State is forward Louise Brown, who puts up 10.4 points and grabs a team-best 6.9 rebounds  a contest.

On the year, Washington State averaged 66.2 points a game and shot 38.6 percent from the field, 31.6 percent from behind the arc and 55.9 percent from the free-throw line. 

• Head coach: June Daugherty (Ohio State, ‘78), 10th season
• Team’s leading scorer: #45 B. Hristova, 14.7 ppg
• Team’s leading rebounder: #04 L. Brown, 6.9 rpg
• Team’s assists leader: #22 P. Pavlopoulou, 2.9 apg
• Team’s steals leader: #01 C. Hailey, 1.8 spg
• Team’s blocks leader: #20 M. Kostourkova, 1.2 bpg

BYU leads the series over Washington State, 5-4. When playing in Provo, the visiting Cougars are 1-3.  Head coach Jeff Judkins is 2-1 against WSU.  The last time the two teams met was on Nov. 26, 2013 when the two Cougar teams played in Provo. In that matchup, the BYU Cougars won 80-73. This will be the first time the two programs have met in a postseason tournament.

A BYU win over Washington State would move the Cougars into the second round where they would play the winner of Thursday night’s Seattle at Wyoming game.