Five Cougars scored in double figures for the first time this season as BYU defeated Northern Colorado, 70-50, on Friday afternoon in the Marriott Center.
“I thought that tonight we defended very well,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “I’ve got to give Brenna Chase a lot of credit. She guarded their best player and she got her points, but she earned them. I thought our bigs did a really good job both offensively and defensively. It was just a great team effort, and I think our depth was a big difference tonight as I could sub and not lose a beat.”
Chase, Shaylee Gonzales, Paisley Johnson, Babalu Ugwu and Jasmine Moody led the Cougars (8-3) by all scoring in double figures. Chase and Gonzales scored 15 and 14 points, each making three 3-pointers. Johnson followed with 12, and Ugwu and Moody both had 10. Johnson and Gonzales both had career highs in steals with five and four, respectively, and Ugwu totaled a career-high six rebounds, five of which were in the first half.
Halfway through the first quarter, Chase drove into the paint for a layup to extend the Cougar lead to 8-4. UNC took the lead away a minute later with the first trey of the game. With a minute left in the quarter, Sara Hamson fed the ball to Moody for a 2-pointer, but BYU finished the quarter down 17-11.
The Cougars hit the floor running in the second quarter. Gonzales and Johnson knocked down 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to make the Cougars’ lead 19-17 with 7:55 left. BYU held UNC from scoring for five minutes while going on a 12-0 run. Gonzales grabbed a steal and took the ball down the court for a lay-in. The Cougars held the Bears to five points in the quarter and led 33-22 at the break.
Eleven seconds into the second half, Ugwu stole the ball and drove down the court to lay the ball in for the first basket of the third period. The Cougars took a 9-0 run over 1:27 in the middle of the quarter to take the lead to 44-26. BYU's strong defensive effort held the Bears scoreless for more than two minutes, ending the third quarter up 46-32.1 comment on this story
Ugwu led BYU with three baskets in the paint to bring the Cougars to 52-32 with 8:38 left in the game. Chase maintained BYU’s comfortable lead with back-to-back threes and followed it up on defense with a steal and pass to Johnson for the layup, making the score 62-43 for the Cougars. Alldredge made a 3-point jumper for BYU’s final points.
After Christmas, BYU women's basketball gets set to challenge for a West Coast Conference title, starting league play on the road at Santa Clara on Saturday, Dec. 29.