Purcell, Rydalch lift BYU over Penn State
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Kalani Purcell scored a career-high 16 points as she helped BYU women’s basketball to a 63–51 win over Penn State Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic.
"I thought it was a great team effort," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "I think this win gives us a lot of confidence moving forward. Kalani had one of her best overall games, and I thought Amanda (Wayment) and Jasmine (Moody) played well defending their bigs."
Along with her career-high 16 points, Purcell brought down 15 rebounds to record her second double-double of the season. Lexi Eaton Rydalch finished the contest with a game-high 24 points and added four rebounds, three assists and one steal. She was named to the All-Tournament Team of the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Classic.
BYU outrebounded Penn State 46 to 32 in the contest, bringing down 19 offensive rebounds. The Cougars also led the Nittany Lions in the assist category 13 to 10.
Freshman Jasmine Moody recorded her first career start against the Nittany Lions, starting in place of Micaelee Orton, who missed her second-straight game due to injury. Moody brought down four rebounds and scored two points in her first collegiate start.
Rydalch continued her impressive shooting from behind the arc, starting the game with a 3-point basket to give the Cougars the early 3-2 lead. Assisted by Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher, Rydalch hit another 3-pointer at the 6:02 mark to put BYU up 9-4. With 2:28 to go in the period, junior Kalani Purcell converted her second 3-point play of the game, putting BYU up 16-9.
The Cougars played aggressive defense in the first period, holding Penn State to just 11 total points. BYU went on a 9-2 run to finish the first 10 minutes of play, going into the second period up 22-11. Shooting 5 for 7, Rydalch scored 12 of the Cougars' 22 first period points, while Purcell added eight points and four rebounds.
BYU opened the quarter with a Rydalch jumper to put the Cougars in front, 24-11. The Nittany Lions pulled within eight, 28-20, on a layup by Peyton Whitted. On the next play, Kylie Maeda pushed the ball up the court into the hands of Rydalch to convert a deep 3-pointer before the Penn State defense could get set to extend the score to 31-20.
Pulsipher finished off the half making a pair of free throws for her first points of the game. BYU went into the half up 35-24, despite eight first half turnovers. Rydalch and Purcell made 11 of BYU’s 12 first half field goals, scoring 29 of the first 35 points for the Coguars. Rydalch finished the first 20 minutes of action with 19 points. Purcell chipped in 10 in addition to five rebounds.
BYU made three 3-pointers to the Nittany Lions one through the first half of play, and had six fast break points to Penn State’s zero. The Cougars also went in to the half leading for almost 19 minutes of the first 20 minutes.
Penn State started the second half on a 4-0 run, cutting the Cougar lead to seven, 35-28. Purcell put BYU back up by 10, 38-28, after she converted another 3-point play. Pulsipher then extended the Cougar lead to a 13-point advantage, 41-28, as she hit her first field goal of the contest.
BYU kept its lead throughout the remainder of the third period, going into the fourth period ahead 47-38. Moody picked up her fifth foul at the 2:19 mark to foul out of the game. Fourteen fouls were called in the third period alone.
Rydalch cooled off in the second half, scoring her first points of the second half at the 7:38 mark of the fourth period. Rydalch twisted her ankle on the play and came out. She did return to the game several minutes later.
With 4:06 to go in the game, Amanda Wayment hit her first field goal of the game to put the Cougars up 53-43. BYU then missed a series of shots, while Penn State converted on two baskets to put the Nittany Lions within six, 53-47, with 1:34 to go. Penn State put the Cougars on the free throw line through the rest of the game, and BYU hit 10 for 14 to come away with the 63–51 win. BYU finished the game 15 for 22 from the charity stripe.
The Cougars continue competing on the road. Next week they head to Laie, Hawaii for the Tom Weston Invitational, Dec. 1-5 where they will play BYU-Hawaii, the University of Hawaii and No. 9 ranked, Texas A&M. All games will be played on the BYU-Hawaii campus in the Cannon Activities Center.
BYU enjoyed its largest lead of the game, up by 14 with five seconds left in the second period.
In the first half of play, BYU had tallied 16 points in the paint compared with 10 for Penn State. The Cougars finished with 24 with the Lions getting 28.
At halftime, BYU had chipped in eight points from PSU miscues and had a total of six fast break points. The Cougars finished the game with 11 points from the Lions turnovers. PSU got eight points from BYU miscues. In the fast breaks category, the Cougars got eight points while the Lions ended the game with eight.
For the first half, BYU shot 89 percent from the free throw line going 8 of 9 and finished shooting 71 percent from the charity stripe.
In the rebound category, the Cougars had grabbed 16 compared with 14 for the Lions in the first half. At the end of the contest, BYU had pulled down a total of 46 rebounds. PSU finished the game with 32 rebounds.
Lexi Eaton Rydalch led all scorers with 10 points at the end of the first period. She had 19 at the break and finished the contest with a game-high 24 for her sixth straight outing with double figures in points and the third contest with 20-plus points. Rydalch also grabbed four rebounds had one steals and dished out three assists.
Kalani Purcell grabbed a first half high five rebounds to go along with 10 points after 20 minutes of action. For the game she pulled down 15 boards and had 16 points for her second double-double of the year. The boards were a game high, while the points were BYU career bests for Purcell.
Freshman Jasmine Moody started in her first collegiate game vs. Penn State. Before fouling out, she had contributed two points and four rebounds in 18 minutes of playing time.
Cassie Broadhead led the BYU team in assists with four. They tied for game bests. She also pulled down three rebounds.
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