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BYU basketball: Broadhead and Pulsipher dominate Colorado Mesa, Cougars claim victory in final exhibition game

Junior Cassie Broadhead went 8-for-8 in the first half and propelled the Cougars to an 81-62 victory over Colorado Mesa on Friday at the Marriott Center with a career-high 20 points.

Broadhead, senior McKenzi Pulsipher and freshman Liz Eaton all scored in double digits in the win.

“I don’t think we played as well as we needed to,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I think part of it was the fast turnaround and secondly, you need to learn how to come back after a good game and not be satisfied with that. I thought Cassie played really well; she had one of her best halves. Jasmine (Moody) played well again. And Shalae (Salmon), a freshman, is going to be a really good player. I thought she came in the second half and really banged around. I thought she did the best job of not getting pushed around by their bigs."

Eaton came off the bench in the second half and recorded a career-high 12 points. Freshman Shalae Salmon contributed seven points for BYU, and both junior Amanda Wayment and sophomore Jasmine Moody finished with six. The Cougars ended the game with nine steals and 25 points off turnovers. Senior Kalani Purcell had a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with her five points and five assists.

The Mavericks claimed the first two points of the contest, but after five-straight turnovers, BYU went on a 12-0 run and took a 12-2 lead. Three Broadhead field goals and a breakaway layup from Pulsipher extended the Cougars' lead to 13-2, forcing a CMU timeout.

Two 3-pointers from Colorado Mesa cut the BYU lead to 13-8. After a few missed jump shots, the Cougars changed their game plan and drove to the basket on their next possession, with Broadhead drawing a foul and sinking two free throws. Another takeaway for BYU proved fruitless, but Broadhead stripped the ball right back from CMU on the following possession and logged another two points at the other end.

Sophomore MaCayla Hanks recorded her first point of the game off a free throw with less than a minute left, but a 3-point play on the other end of the court kept the Cougar lead at single digits, 20-11. With 10 seconds remaining, Purcell sank a layup for a 22-11 advantage to end the first period.

BYU opened the second period of play with a layup from Pulsipher, but the Cougars didn’t find the basket again for nearly four minutes.

Broadhead ended the drought with a layup, and then scored seven more points to give her a total of 19 in the first half. The junior hit a 3-pointer with nearly four minutes remaining and then stripped the ball yet again before finishing with a layup on the other end. With 2:30 left in the half, Broadhead cut through three defenders to find the basket, increasing the Cougar lead to 14, 33-19.

With 1:19 remaining in the half, Pulsipher recorded a four-point play after sinking a 3-pointer and free throw to put the Cougars up 19, 39-20. She scored again less than a minute later off a layup to give BYU a 41-23 lead heading into halftime.

CMU opened the second half scoring a quick two points from Bryanna Adams and continued to chip away at the Cougar lead. Salmon found the net on three straight BYU possessions, and a Moody jumper, followed by another two Pulsipher points, extended the team's lead to 19 points, 55-34. The Cougars finished the period with a 23-point advantage after scores from Eaton and Wayment.

The Cougars began the final period up by 22, 62-40. With 5:25 remaining they held an 18-point lead, 69-51 after four-straight Maverick points. Eaton then swished a quick jumper, but CMU answered right back with a 3-pointer by Reichle.

Broadhead found her first point of the second half from a free throw with 3:43 remaining, logging her 20th of the game. Eaton scored a quick five-straight points after finding the net on a jump shot and a 3-pointer with 1:55 left on the clock. Haley Rydalch got on the board, making 1-of-2 free throws with just less than a minute to go.

The Cougars begin non-conference play, taking on Utah Valley University in Orem on Friday, Nov. 11, at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on BYU Radio and Sirius XM 143.

Caitlan Wrubell is a student at BYU studying communications.

Contact her at: WrubyTuesday19@hotmail.com