Paisley Johnson and Shaylee Gonzales scored in the double digits to secure the Cougars unblemished league record to 5-0 with a 77-74 win over Pacific on Thursday at Alex G. Spanos Center.
“We had some great plays from several players in the win tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “ I thought Paisley played a great game. They had a hard time guarding her. Brenna did a good job on their top player, and Shaylee had another great game. Defensively, I thought Sara had a really good game; played like herself tonight.”
Johnson and Gonzales led BYU (13-3, 5-0) with 24 points and two 3-pointers each. Gonzales also contributed three assists and nine rebounds. Moody added eight points and nine rebounds, while Salmon brought six points and four assists. Chase also put five points on the board with one 3-pointer.
A defensive rebound and a layup by Shalae Salmon started the scoring for the Cougars, who quickly took a 6-4 lead in the sixth minute. The two teams traded baskets until Johnson came in with a jumper and a 10-9 lead. Scores by Gonzales, Johnson, Brenna Chase and Sara Hamson gave the Cougars a 22-13 lead as the team closed out the first period leading the Tigers (9-5, 2-2), 22-17.
Two made free throws by Jasmine Moody maintained the Cougar lead. Midway through the quarter, Johnson knocked down two 3-pointers to give BYU a 32-24 advantage. Moody and Gonzales contributed layups of their own and Chase came in with a 3-pointer for a 39-31 BYU lead. Another jumper and a final 3-pointer by Gonzales closed the first half with the Cougars leading 44-37.
Two easy layups from Salmon started the second half for the Cougars. Johnson took advantage of a fast break and scored in the paint, bringing the score to 50-42 in favor of the visiting BYU team. Gonzales made her second 3-pointer of the night near the end of the third quarter. Pacific cut into the lead with four made free throws before Johnson responded with a jumper. Baskets by Hamson, Maria Albiero and Gonzales gave BYU a nine-point, 63-54 lead to close out the third period.Comment on this story
A quick basket in the post from Moody pushed the Cougars’ lead to 11, 65-54, to start the final period. The Tigers made a comeback, cutting the lead to just two points, 65-63, on a 3-pointer. A basket by Gonzales put BYU up 67-63. Back-and-forth points from both teams brought the first tie of the night at 69-69 with 2:13 left on the clock before a Moody layup gave BYU the lead. Pacific answered with a layup and free throw to get it within one, 73-72, with 20 seconds left. After two fouls on the Tigers and four critical made free throws by Gonzales, the Cougars secured the win at 77-74.
BYU next travels to Moraga, California, to face Saint Mary’s at McKeon Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. PST. The game will have a live video stream on TheW.tv.