Ben Bluhm | Posted: 29 Oct 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU women rally back to win exhibition game against Westminster

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PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s basketball pulled out a gritty win to beat Westminster 69-61 in an exhibition at the Marriott Center on Tuesday. 

Final Box Score

"Our bigs worked really hard this off-season," BYU women's basketball head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Shalae [Salmon] was really active tonight, as was Jasmine [Moody]. That’s what's nice about our inside presence this year. Nice to get the win against a team that can shoot it." 

Shalae Salmon led the Cougar offense, adding 16 points on 60 percent shooting. Junior guards Paisley Johnson and Maria Albiero were key contributors as well, scoring 15 and 13 points apiece. Jasmine Moody also grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Cougars started hot from outside, going 4 of 6 from deep in the opening quarter. Senior guard Brenna Chase Drollinger made two-straight three-point shots while the team made 46.2 percent of its shots.

However, Westminster’s Sarah McGinley helped lead the Griffin attack, scoring 11 points of her own. The Griffins consistently got to the paint and attacked BYU’s defense, taking a 23-17 lead at the end of the first. 

The Cougars struggled to shoot the ball in the second quarter, going 4 of 14 from the field. Johnson and Albiero paced BYU’s offense, scoring seven points apiece by the end of the half. Center Sara Hamson also logged two blocks for the Cougars in the half. Westminster continued its hot shooting, going 3 of 6 from deep taking a 38-28 lead at the half.

BYU went on a run early in the third quarter behind three straight layups by Salmon to trim the lead to two. However, the Griffins responded with a 6-0 run of their own midway through the third to make it a 50-39 contest. BYU got into the bonus with a little over a minute remaining in the period with Hamson making three key free throws. Johnson drained a three in the final seconds to bring the score to 51-45 at the end of the third in favor of the visiting Westminster team.

The Cougars began the fourth quarter with a bang, scoring 10-straight points behind shots from Babalu Ugwu and Johnson. The Cougar defense created a turnover and Johnson pulled up from deep to give the team its first lead of the game, 53-51 since early in the first period.  

Albiero made a contested midrange shot to bring the lead to 55-51. Westminster battled back, tying the game at 56 with 4:35 left in regulation. 

Drollinger made a critical steal late and took it all the way to the hoop to make the lead 65-61 for BYU. Two more steals by Drollinger and Hamson sealed the game for BYU, finishing the night with their largest lead of the game, 69-61.

BYU returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. MDT at home in the Marriott Center hosting Antelope Valley in another exhibition contest. The game will be broadcast on the WCC Network.

Team Notes

  • BYU took a 53-51 advantage after a Paisley Johnson 3 with 8:02 left in the fourth quarter, giving the team its first lead since being up 6-5 in the first quarter.
  • Three different Cougars scored in double-figures as Shalae Salmon dropped 16, Paisley Johnson recorded 15 and Maria Albiero had 13.
  • BYU shot 44.4 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3 and 65 percent from the free-throw line.
  • The Cougar bench had 21 points in the win, compared to two for Westminster.
  • BYU outnumbered the Griffins in total assists, 18 to 15, in blocks, four to one and in steals eight to four.

Player Notes

  • Shalae Salmon scored a team-high 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting. She also added two assists and a rebound.
  • Paisley Johnson was 4 of 5 from 3 on her way to posting 15 points, five rebounds and five assists.
  • Maria Albiero had 13 points and five assists, while Brenna Chase Drollinger had nine points, six assists and a team-high four steals.
  • Jasmine Moody led the way in rebounds with 10, six of which were defensive. She also had eight points.
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