Guard play helps lead BYU to 55-44 win over Loyola Marymount
PROVO, Utah – All three starting guards for BYU women’s basketball scored in the double digits to help the Cougars win their sixth straight game and remain unbeaten in conference play, defeating Loyola Marymount 55-44 on Saturday at the Marriott Center.
"This was a good week for us and we’re off to a good start in conference play,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “This was not one of our best games, but it was one of those games where they toughed it out and did enough to win the game. I think this happens when you play four games in seven nights. Hopefully, we can relax a little now and get healthy."
For the second game in a row, starting guards Brenna Chase, Shaylee Gonzales and Paisley Johnson scored in double digits for the Cougars. Chase led the team with 14 points and four 3-pointers made. Gonzales contributed 13 points and seven assists while Johnson added 10 points and four steals. Shalae Salmon anchored the post making all four field goal attempts for eight points, grabbing five rebounds and blocking a shot.
Babalu Ugwu opened up the scoring with a put-back layup after hauling in an offensive rebound. Gonzales and Ugwu added two baskets for BYU (12-3, 4-0 WCC) to take a 6-5 lead over LMU (9-7, 2-2 WCC). The two teams traded baskets with Johnson hitting a 3-point shot to even the score at 11-all five minutes into the first period. The Lions took a four-point lead before Chase knocked down a shot from behind the arc to bring the Cougars within one point 15-14. LMU added a free throw to take a 16-14 lead over BYU at the end of the quarter.
The Cougars retook the lead, 20-16 with Chase making a jump shot and Johnson scoring a basket off a stolen pass. Chase made back-to-back 3-pointers for BYU to take a 26-20 lead midway through the period. Gonzales drove the lane and dished the ball to Salmon for an easy layup under the basket and Sara Hamson put back an offensive rebound to give the Cougars the lead, 30-25 at the half.
Gonzales jumpstarted a 7-2 BYU run to start the second half after getting fouled on a made layup and hitting the ensuing free throw to give the Cougars a 10-point lead, 37-27. The Lions briefly cut the lead to single digits before Johnson hit a baseline jumper and Gonzales made a 3-point basket from downtown to re-extend the lead to 42-30 midway through the third. Johnson knocked down a corner 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to give BYU a 47-36 at the end of the period.
Salmon made a quick basket in the post to capitalize on a steal from Johnson and Chase made her fourth 3-point basket to push the Cougars’ lead to 52-38. The Lions scored their own shot from behind the arc before Gonzales answered with a 3-pointer of her own to keep the 14-point lead, 55-41 with five minutes left in the game. BYU slowed the ball down to drain the clock and pulled in multiple offensive rebounds to extend possessions before eventually finishing the game with the win over Loyola Marymount, 55-44.
The Cougars will next travel to face Pacific at the Alex G. Spanos Center on Thursday, January 10, at 7 p.m. PDT. The game will be broadcast on TheW.tv.
Postgame Notes vs. LMU
Three BYU players scored in double figures for the sixth time this season: Brenna Chase (14), Shaylee Gonzales (13) and Paisley Johnson (10).
BYU outrebounded LMU 36-31 and took a 23-8 advantage in second-chance points.
The Cougars passed the ball well, combining for 15 assists compared to 11 by the Lions
BYU’s defense forced 18 turnovers and scored 17 points off of them, compared to LMU’s 13.
Brenna Chase had a game-high 14 points, 11 of which she got in the first half, including three 3-pointers. She had four assists and four steals in the game.
Shaylee Gonzales finished with 13 points, seven assists and three steals, tying her career high. Five of her assists came in the first half.
Paisley Johnson was the other player in double digits with 10 points. She also tied her career high with four steals.
Shalae Salmon had a solid game with eight points, five rebounds, including four on the offensive end, and a block.
Babalu Ugwu and Jasmine Moody led in rebounds with seven and Sara Hamson put up five rebounds and two blocks.