BYU opens SDSU Thanksgiving Classic with 61-58 win over TCU
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – BYU women’s basketball won the battle of the boards against Texas Christian University (TCU) to take a 61-58 victory in Cougars’ first game at the SDSU Thanksgiving Classic Friday.
"We made some big defensive plays there at the end," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "I thought we did a really good job on the boards and we didn’t give them too many second looks. I thought Brenna (Chase) kept us in the game in the first quarter."
BYU (4-1) dominated the paint with a 47-38 advantage in rebounds, led by season highs from Jasmine Moody and Sara Hamson, who had 10 and eight, respectively. Moody's 10 boards were also a career high. Hamson added two blocks in a season-high 15 minutes for the 2018 WCC Defensive Player of the Year.
Brenna Chase led the Cougars in scoring with 18, including 11 in the first quarter alone, and also tied her career high of five steals. Shaylee Gonzales and Paisley Johnson followed with 12 and 10 points, also adding two steals apiece. Johnson had a game-high six assists.
The Horned Frogs (3-1) took an early 7-2 lead, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Chase tied the game at 8-8 midway through the first quarter. Chase had all eight of the Cougars’ points. The game remained close until the Cougars went on an 8-0 run to end the first quarter, leading 21-16, to match their season high for a single quarter. BYU dominated the boards in the early going, bringing down 14 rebounds to TCU’s seven in the first 10 minutes. Chase was already in double-digits with 11, thanks to 3 for 5 shooting from behind the arc in the first quarter.
TCU opened the second quarter on a quick 5-0 run to tie the game at 21. A series of BYU turnovers allowed TCU to break off a 7-0 run and take a 35-31 lead with a minute left in the half. Johnson hit a jumper in the final seconds to stop the run and bring BYU within two, 35-33, at the half. She had eight points, including a perfect 2 for 2 from three in the first half.
Sara Hamson had her biggest first-half contribution of the season with six boards in 10 minutes. The two teams exchanged leads six times and were tied nine different times during the first half. The Cougars continued to lead in rebounding with a 22-17 advantage and also knocked down 6 of 10 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
BYU opened the second half with a layup from Salmon to tie the game at 35, followed by a steal from Chase, her second of the night. Almost immediately after, however, the Horned Frogs hit three consecutive 3-pointers to take their largest lead of the game, 44-35, less than three minutes into the third quarter. Gonzales hit her first 3-pointer of the night to cap off an 8-0 BYU run and a 47-46 lead with just over a minute left in the third.
Chase tied her career high with a fifth steal near the end of the third quarter, then followed it up with a layup to increase BYU’s lead to 49-46 heading into the final quarter. Chase led all scorers to that point with 13 points. She then opened the fourth quarter with another score to get her up to 15 and give BYU a 51-46 lead, matching the team’s largest of the game.
Both teams struggled to shoot the ball early in the final quarter, falling below 40 percent from the field on the night. Johnson broke the cold spell with a jumper to put her double digits with 10, and increase the BYU lead to 53-49 with 5:21 left in the game. The lead didn’t last long, however, as TCU scored four straight points to tie the game at 53 with 3:35 remaining. Gonzales fired back with a layup to regain the lead and put her in double digits with 11, and Chase scored immediately after to put the Cougars back up by four.
The Horned Frogs refused to go away though, scoring five straight to take another lead, 58-57, with a minute left. Moody then got her 10th rebound of the game and Hamson made a layup to go up, 59-58, with 40 seconds left, leading to a TCU timeout. The Horned Frogs were forced to foul late in the game, and Gonzales made one of two free throws to put the score at 60-58 with 16 seconds left. Johnson got a steal on the following possession and Chase made one of two free throws to seal the game.
BYU continues its play in the SDSU Thanksgiving Classic tomorrow against California Baptist University at 5 p.m. PDT. The game can be followed with live stats.
Postgame Notes vs. TCU
- BYU shot 60 percent from 3-point range in the first half of play. They finished the game shooting 36.8 percent, going 7 of 19 from behind the arc.
- Through 20 minutes of action, the Cougars pulled down 22 rebounds to the Horned Frogs 17. For the game, BYU won the rebound battle grabbing 47 boards to TCU’s 38.
- In the assists category, the Cougars had the advantage, dishing out 18 to TCU’s 14.
- Both teams tied in total steals with each team recording nine.
- For the third time on the season, three Cougars recorded double digits in points: Brenna Chase (18), Shaylee Gonzales (12), Paisley Johnson (10).
- Junior guard Brenna Chase led all scorers in the first half with 11 points after going 3 of 6 from behind the arc. She ended the game with a game-best 18 points along with a game-high five steals.
- Sara Hamson had a first-half high six rebounds. She finished with eight rebounds, four points, two assists and a team-best two blocks.
- Shaylee Gonzales picked up her fifth-straight game with double-figure points (12). She also grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and got two steals in the win.
- Jasmine Moody grabbed a game-high and career-high 10 rebounds to go along with her six points.
- Paisley Johnson recorded her fifth-straight game with double-digit points (10). She also dished out a game-high six assists, got two steals and pulled down four rebounds.