Cougars drop season opener 67-50 to Washington State
PULLMAN, Wash. — Despite having 19 points from Paisley Johnson and a career-high 14 from Jasmine Moody, BYU women’s basketball dropped its season opener 67-50 to Washington State Saturday.
"Defensively, we played really well and followed our game plan," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Offensively, we tried to do too much with the ball and didn’t pass it. I thought Jasmine gave us a good lift and was a force inside. It’s always hard to win on the road and we need to learn how to play with one another."
Johnson and Moody led the visiting Cougars (0-1) with 19 and 14 points, respectively, followed by Brenna Chase Drollinger, who contributed 10 points and six rebounds. Moody added a team-high eight rebounds and a block, while Sara Hamson had seven rebounds, one block and one steal.
BYU shot 26 percent on the night compared to Washington State’s (2-0) 40 percent and had just three bench points compared to the homestanding Cougars’ 26.
Neither team could get much going offensively early, as Washington State took a 4-2 lead midway through the first quarter. A layup from Moody and a 3-pointer by Johnson gave the visiting Cougars a 7-6 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter, but the homestanding Cougars answered with two consecutive layups of their own to end the opening period up 10-8.
BYU began the second quarter with back-to-back baskets from Johnson and Moody to regain the lead at 12-10. Washington State responded with 11 unanswered points of their own before Johnson finally stopped the visiting Cougars’ scoring drought with a driving layup to cut the deficit to 21-14. A Johnson 3-pointer followed by a layup from Moody and a 3-pointer by Ugwu brought BYU within seven once again with the score at 29-22. The homestanding Cougars proceeded to end the half on a 3-2 run to hold a 31-23 advantage after the first 20 minutes.
BYU started the second half on a quick 6-0 run after an and-one layup and free throw by Moody and a Drollinger 3-pointer to bring the score to 31-29. WSU used a 13-4 run of their own to take a 44-33 lead before Drollinger hit another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to eight. Both teams traded baskets throughout the rest of the quarter before Washington State took a 49-40 advantage into the final period.
A free throw from Hamson and a Johnson layup brought the visiting Cougars within eight with just over five minutes remaining in the game. The homestanding Cougars then scored five unanswered points to increase their lead to 56-43 midway through the fourth. Washington State ended the game on an 11-7 run, with BYU scoring its final seven points from the free-throw line.
BYU will play against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Marriott Center for the Cougars’ home opener. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MDT and will be carried live on the BYUtv App.
- BYU opened the 2019-20 with a 67-50 road loss at Washington State after being down by just eight, 31-23 at halftime.
- In the first half, BYU shot 31 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3-point range and just 18 percent from the charity stripe. For the game the visiting Cougars finished shooting 26.2 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from behind the arc and 50 percent from the free throw line.
- Washington State led the way in rebounds with 25 compared with 16 for BYU in the first 20 minutes of action. The WSU Cougars pulled down a game-high 53 boards while the visiting Cougars grabbed 37 rebounds for the game.
- The homestanding Cougars had the advantage in points in the paint with 20 compared with BYU’s 12 in the first half. For the game, WSU finished with 32 points in the paint while BYU tallied 22 points.
- In assists, BYU dished out seven while Washington State recorded 13 assists for the game.
- Junior guard Paisley Johnson went into the locker room with a halftime high 10 points, picking up her first double digit outing of the season and the 32nd of her career. She also had two rebounds and one assist. Johnson finished the game with a team-high 19 points along with three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
- Senior forward Jasmine Moody tallied eight points in the first half of play and tied for halftime highs in rebounds with five. She finished the contest with a career-best 14 points and a team-best eight rebounds.
- Senior guard Brenna Chase Drollinger filled her stat line with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and a team-best three steals. The points mark the 50th game with double-digit points and the first of the season.
- Freshman Leilani Otuafi played in her first collegiate game against Washington State. She finished her playing debut with a team-best four assists and two rebounds after playing nearly 16 minutes.
BYU women open the 2019-20 basketball season at Washington State
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball begins the 2019-20 campaign traveling to Pullman, Washington to take on the Cougars of Washington State on Saturday, Nov. 9. The battle of the Cougars tips at 1 p.m., PT.
Fans can follow the action on the Pac-12 Network.
- As a precursor to the regular season, BYU women’s basketball recorded back-to-back wins in two exhibition games
- With 393 total wins, head coach Jeff Judkins enters the 2019-20 season as the all-time winningest men’s or women’s BYU basketball head coach; he needs seven wins to reach 400 victories, a coaching milestone
- The BYU team returns scoring leaders Paisley Johnson (14.5) and Brenna Chase Drollinger (12.8)
- Junior center Sara Hamson returns leading in rebounds (5.9) and blocks (2.8)
- Chase Drollinger leads in assists with a 3.9 average and has the team’s best 3-point field goal percentage (.352)
- Senior Jasmine Moody returns with the most playing experience (97 total games)
- The Cougars return 10 letterwinners and three starters, while adding five newcomers and one redshirt freshman
- After finishing second in last year’s West Coast Conference race and winning the WCC tournament crown, BYU was selected to finish second in the conference race
- Three Cougar players were named to the 2019-20 Preseason All-WCC Team; Brenna Chase Drollinger, Paisley Johnson and Sara Hamson
- In the USA Today Sports Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll, BYU received 10 votes and is playing three teams that are in the top-25 poll
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
- Washington State returns nine letterwinners and three starters from last year’s team that compiled a 9-21 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the Pac-12, finishing in 10th place
- The Cougars played one exhibition game, beating Beijing Normal University 71-63
- WSU opened the 2019-20 season with an 85-48 home win over Pepperdine on Tuesday, Nov. 5
- Head coach Kamie Ethridge is in her second season at the helm of the women’s basketball program at Washington State
- The Cougars were selected to finish 10th in the Pac-12 Coaches Poll and are led by All-Pac-12 honoree Borislava Hristova, a 6-foot-8 senior center forward who is averaging 23.0 points per game
The series with Washington State is tied at 5-5. BYU is 1-3 when playing in Pullman and coach Judkins has a 2-2 record against WSU. The last time the two Cougar teams played was on March 16, 2017 in the postseason WNIT. In that game, Washington State recorded the 72-64 victory in Provo.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
After the road game at Washington State, the Cougars return home for their season opener against Texas A&M Kingsville on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. That game will be carried live on the BYUtvApp.