Tatiana Littlefield | Posted: 19 Jan 2019 | Updated: 3 Jan 2021

Albiero's career-game leads BYU to a 79-71 comeback win over Portland

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PROVO, Utah – A career-game from sophomore Maria Albiero helped the BYU women's basketball beat Portland 79-71 on Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center.

BYU vs. Portland Final Box Score

“Portland played a heck of a game tonight,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “It wasn’t the best night for some of our players but they made plays when they needed to make them. It’s tough coming off a physical and emotional game against Gonzaga and then playing less than 48 hours later. I think we’re playing some of our best basketball right now.”

The Cougars went on a 16-3 run in the final minutes of the game to increase their win streak to 10 games and to stay undefeated in West Coast Conference action.

Albiero led the team with 16 points while grabbing two rebounds and one steal. Paisley Johnson contributed 15 points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds. Brenna Chase recorded 13 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals while Shaylee Gonzales recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. 

The game opened with both teams hitting a shot from beyond the arc. However, Portland went on to jump ahead to a 20-8 lead with under three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Albiero came off the bench, scoring back-to-back buckets as the Pilots ended the first quarter on top 27-15.

Johnson started the second quarter with a pair of free throws but Portland answered with a 6-0 run, the only run for the Pilots in the quarter, as the Cougars started to find a rhythm. With 1:36 remaining in the first half, BYU went on a 7-0 run with buckets from Babalu Ugwu and Caitlyn Alldredge to bring the Cougars within seven, 44-37.

Portland started the second half with a free throw before Ugwu kicked off a 6-0 run for BYU to bring the game within two, 45-43.

Despite the Pilots extending their lead back to double digits, Albiero knocked down a jumper and ended the third quarter with a four-point conversion after draining a trey with two seconds on the clock. The Cougars went into the final quarter down 55-61.

Johnson hit a 3-pointer from beyond the arc to make the score 64-58 for Portland with eight minutes remaining in the game for the first BYU basket of the final quarter.

With 4:37 left on the clock, Albiero hit another trey and Chase followed with one of her own to cut the deficit down to two points, 68-66. Chase came out of the timeout and forced a steal for a layup to even the game at 68-all.

A pair of points from the charity stripe by Gonzales gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, 70-68, with three minutes to go. Three players finished the game off at the free throw line as BYU secured the comeback win.

On the game, BYU shot 40.3 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from 3 and 75 percent from the free throw line. The Pilots recorded 39.7 percent from the field, 27.6 percent from beyond the arc and 81 percent from the charity stripe.

The Cougars continue WCC action at San Diego on Saturday, Jan. 26. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. PST and will be broadcast live on TheW.tv.


  • Four Cougars scored in double figures for the fifth time this season: Maria Albiero with 16, Paisley Johnson with 15, Brenna Chase with 13 and Shaylee Gonzales with 11.

  • BYU’s first lead was 69-68, given by a free throw from Gonzales with 3:08 left in the fourth quarter.

  • After being down by as much as 16 points in the first quarter, the Cougars closed the gap to seven points at 37-44 going into half-time.

  • A basket from Chase tied the game up at 68-68, 36 minutes into the game.

  • The Cougars led the Pilots in free throw percentage, blocks, steals, assists and bench points in the first half. At the final buzzer, the Cougars held the advantage in blocks, steals, assists and bench points. BYU gained the advantage in 3-point field goal percentage and points off turnovers.

  • The 81 combined first-half points tied for season bests. The last time it happened was at Pacific and BYU was up 44-37 at the half.


  • Shaylee Gonzales led all players in assists recording a career-high 10. With her 11 points, she tallied her third double-double of the year.

  • Paisley Johnson recorded her 16th game with double-digit points (15) and sixth straight.

  • Brenna Chase has scored in double digits in 14 games this season with the 13 against the Pilots.

  • Sara Hamson and Shalae Salmon led all players with three blocks apiece.

  • Jasmine Moody along with Sara Hamson grabbed a team-best six rebounds each.

Player Quotes

Maria Albiero

Thoughts on the win
“We have an amazing team and I’m here to help in whatever way I can. We work for it every day and I had the opportunity today so I’m happy I could help. When we had to play small we lost our advantage in the post, but we could be fast and push the ball hard. After an emotional win against Gonzaga, it’s hard to just get back up. We learned a hard lesson after we let it get to us at the start of the game today. Thankfully we got the win.”

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