Josh Carter | Posted: 29 Nov 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Three players in double figures not enough as Cougar women drop a 77-73 overtime thriller to Utah

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Paisley Johnson shoots the ball against Utah

PROVO, Utah — Despite having three players score in double figures, BYU women’s basketball dropped a 77-73 overtime thriller to Utah Friday night at the Marriott Center.

BYU vs. Utah Final Box Score

“I thought Utah played really well, it was probably the best game they’ve played all year,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “They shot really well tonight, and their 3-pointers were the difference-maker in the game. They didn’t miss and they’re not normally like that. I thought we played really well in spurts as a team and then we’d let down. We just made a couple of mistakes down in the end and it cost us the game.”​

Paisley Johnson led all scorers with 19 points and Hamson poured in  18, but the Cougars (3-2) failed to maintain their late lead as the Utes (4-3) tied the game with three seconds left in regulation and outscored BYU 10-6 in overtime.

Following Johnson and Hamson, Babalu Ugwu chipped in 12 points for the Cougars while adding six rebounds and two assists. Shalae Salmon had a team-high 12 rebounds and seven points, while Drollinger dished out a team-high seven assists and added eight points.

BYU outscored Utah in the paint 40-12 but was just 6 of 20 from 3, compared to the Utes’ 14 of 32 from behind the arc. The Cougars shot 41 percent from the field on the night while Utah shot 43 percent.

Utah opened the scoring with two free throws, but a Johnson 3-pointer and a basket in the paint from Salmon put BYU up 5-2 two minutes into the game. Both teams traded baskets back and forth until another Johnson 3 gave the Cougars a 13-10 advantage with three minutes left in the first quarter.

After a trey from Otuafi and a wide-open layup by Hamson put BYU up 18-15, a Hamson block set up a fast-break layup by Otuafi to give the Cougars a five-point advantage with 44 seconds left in the first period. Two more Utah free throws brought the score to back within three, 20-17, to close the quarter.

The Utes tied the score at 22 before a 3-pointer from Drollinger gave BYU a 25-22 lead two and a half minutes into the second quarter. Another trey from Ugwu increased the Cougars’ advantage to 28-22 halfway through the period. A 5-0 Utah run brought the score within one, but a midrange jumper from Drollinger put BYU back up three, 30-27. The Utes proceeded to score five more unanswered points to take a 32-30 lead after the first 20 minutes.

A Hamson jumper to open the second half followed by two baskets apiece from Otuafi and Salmon led BYU on a 10-6 run to give the Cougars a 40-38 lead. Utah answered with an 8-3 run of its own to regain the lead, 46-43, with three and a half minutes left in the third quarter.

Johnson hit her third 3 of the game to tie the game at 46, then proceeded to hit another jumper to put BYU back on top 48-46. Back-to-back layups by Hamson then built the Cougars’ lead to four before a Utah 3 closed the quarter and brought the score within one, 52-51.

BYU opened the final quarter with back-to-back baskets from Johnson and Ugwu, but the Utes answered with five consecutive points to once again tie the game at 56. The Cougars then went on to score five unanswered points of their own to take a 61-56 advantage with six minutes left in the game.

A 5-2 run from Utah brought the score to 63-61 for BYU with 3:42 remaining in the contest. A Hamson layup ended a two-minute scoring drought to increase the Cougars’ lead to four, 65-61. Utah responded with two free throws and a 3-pointer to retake the lead, 66-65, with 41 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Drollinger passed out of a double team to a wide-open Ugwu, who drove to the basket and made a layup to give BYU back the lead, 67-66, with five seconds left. Utah’s Dru Gylten drove to the hoop on the next possession and got fouled by Otuafi, sending Gylten to the free-throw line. Gylten missed the first attempt but hit the second to tie the game at 67. A last-second heave at half court from Drollinger barely rimmed out as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

Hamson opened the overtime period with a layup, but a jumper from Utah tied the game back up at 69. An Albiero steal on the ensuing possession led to a fast-break layup from Drollinger to put BYU up by two. The Utes answered with a 3, giving them a 72-71 advantage.

After the Cougars failed to score on their next possession, Utah converted on the other end with a jumper to build its lead to three, 74-71. The Utes got the ball back after Johnson’s layup attempt was blocked and Gylten once again got sent to the free-throw line after getting fouled. Gylten missed the first but made the second to bring the score to 75-71 with 36 seconds remaining.

Hamson scored a put-back layup on the other end after pulling down an offensive rebound with 14 seconds left to bring BYU within two, 75-73. After the Cougars intentionally fouled Utah’s Brynna Maxwell to stop the clock, Maxwell knocked down both free throws to put the Utes back up by four, 77-73. BYU failed to convert on its ensuing offensive possession as time expired, securing the 77-73 Utah win.

The Cougars travel to Tempe, Arizona, on Friday, Dec. 6, to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. The game is scheduled to tipoff at 6 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

Team Notes

  • In the first half, BYU shot 39.3 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the arc. In the second half, the Cougars recorded a 44.4 field-goal percentage and only 12.5 percent from 3. In overtime, BYU tallied 33.3 percent from the field to total 41.1 percent from the field on the game and 30.0 percent from behind the arc.
  • The Cougars outrebounded the Utes 43 to 38 as they grabbed a season-high 25 defensive boards.
  • BYU racked up a dominant 40 points in the paint compared to Utah’s 12.

 Player Notes

  • Paisley Johnson scored 19 points for the second time this season while grabbing four rebounds, two steals and dishing out two assists.
  • Sara Hamson followed with a season-best 18 points, seven boards and three blocks.
  • Babalu Ugwu recorded 12 points, six rebounds and two assists.
  • Brenna Chase Drollinger became the 30th player in BYU history to score 1,000 points as she has now reached 1,006. Drollinger also led the team with a season-best seven assists.
  • Shalae Salmon led the team with 12 rebounds to tie her season-high and added seven points, one assist and one block.
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