Josh Carter | Posted: 6 Dec 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars fall short in final minutes to Arizona State 60-52

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P Johnson

TEMPE, Ariz. — Despite coming back to within two points with 28 seconds remaining, the BYU women’s basketball team fell 60-52 to Arizona State at Desert Financial Arena Friday night.

BYU at Arizona State Final Box Score

"We played hard," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "I thought in the first half we did a good job not turning the ball over. We had a tough third quarter there where we couldn't make any baskets. Brenna (Chase-Drollinger) and Paisley (Johnson) both played a really good game and I'm proud of how we came back there at the end to make it a close game."

Johnson led the team with 18 points on seven of 19 shooting while adding three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Drollinger contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. She also recorded a team-high three steals.

Sara Hamson also broke double figures in scoring, recording 10 points while adding seven rebounds and six blocks. Shalae Salmon filled the stat sheet with six points, six rebounds, two assists and one block.

As a team, the Cougars (3-3) shot 35 percent from the floor to the Sun Devils’ (6-2) 30 percent and had 28 points in the paint to Arizona State’s 20. The Sun Devils, however, had 21 fast-break points to BYU’s eight and outrebounded the Cougars 51-36.

With BYU trailing by eight with just over a minute left in the game, a 3-pointer by Drollinger brought the Cougars within five, 51-46. After BYU intentionally fouled on the following possession and Arizona State made just one of two free throws, Johnson hit another trey to cut the deficit to three, 52-49, with 43 seconds on the clock.

The Cougars were forced to foul again on their two defensive possessions and the Sun Devils made just two of four free throws to go up by five, 54-49. Drollinger then hit another 3-pointer from well beyond the top of the key to bring the Cougars within two, 54-52, with 28 seconds left.

Arizona State, however, proceeded to make its final six free throw attempts, and the Cougars could not convert on their final two offensive possessions as the Sun Devils secured the 60-52 win.

Johnson opened the game with a step-back 3 from the top of the arc to put BYU up 3-0. After Drollinger found Hamson for an open layup, Salmon scored a layup of her own after posting up her defender to extend the Cougars’ lead to five, 7-2, midway through the quarter. Another layup by Johnson off an inbounds play and a trey from Drollinger brought the score to 12-4.

Arizona State then scored five unanswered points, but BYU answered with a 4-0 run of its own to take a 16-9 advantage with just over a minute left in the period. The Sun Devils hit one last free throw with under a second left to put the score at 16-10 for the Cougars at the end of the first quarter.

Arizona State started the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 17-16. BYU proceeded to attack the rim, scoring back-to-back layups from Johnson and Babalu Ugwu to take a 21-17 lead with 4:30 remaining in the half. The Cougars’ zone defense frustrated the Sun Devils the remainder of the quarter, holding Arizona State scoreless throughout the final seven minutes of the half. Another layup from Salmon gave BYU a 23-17 advantage after the first 20 minutes.

Hamson made two free throws after getting fouled on a pick-and-roll play with Drollinger to open the second half and put the Cougars up 25-17. A wide-open layup by Johnson after a defensive breakdown and a skyhook in the paint by Salmon then increased BYU’s lead to 12, 29-17, two minutes into the period.  

The Sun Devils responded, scoring 14 unanswered points to take a 31-29 lead with three minutes left in the quarter. Both teams traded baskets back and forth until consecutive Arizona State 3-pointers gave the Sun Devils a 39-33 advantage with under a minute remaining in the third. Arizona State scored one last layup to bring its lead to eight, 41-33, at the end of the third quarter.

A Hamson layup followed by a Drollinger midrange jumper and a Johnson layup brought the Cougars within four, 43-39, with 7:35 left in the game. After a jumper from Maria Albiero cut BYU’s deficit to three, the Sun Devils scored five consecutive points to go back up by eight, 49-41, with 4:28 remaining.

Despite a late push from the Cougars, BYU fell short to Arizona State 60-52.

The Cougars remain on the road to take on Boise State on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. MDT at the ExtraMile Arena in Boise, Idaho. The game will have a live video stream on the Mountain West Network.

Team Notes

  • The Cougars finished the first half of play shooting 33 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free-throw line. For the game, they shot 35.1 percent from the field, 26.3 percent from behind the arc and 87.5 percent from the charity stripe.
  • ASU led the way in rebounds through the first half with 26 boards to BYU’s 23. For the game, the Sun Devils pulled down 51 rebounds to the Cougars 36.
  • In the blocks category, the Cougars took the advantage with seven blocks to ASU’s four.
  • The Sun Devils finished the contest with the advantage in steals with 13 to the Cougars seven and had two more assists, 15 to BYU’s 13.
  • For the fourth time on the year, three players recorded double figures in points: Paisley Johnson (18), Brenna Drollinger (14) and Sara Hamson (10).

Player Notes

  • Junior guard Paisley Johnson recorded her fourth-straight game with double-digit points with a game-high 18 points on 7 of 19 shooting from the field. She was perfect from the free-throw line, making both shots attempted.
  • Senior guard Brenna Drollinger picked up her third game with 10+points (14) to go along with team bests in rebounds and assists with eight and six respectively. She played the entire game and the boards were career highs.
  • Junior Sara Hamson picked up her second straight game with double digits in points with 10 and had a game-best six blocks. She also pulled down seven rebounds, got one steal and went 2 for 2 from the charity stripe.
  • Senior forward Shalae Salmon’s stat sheet for the game included six points, six rebounds, two assists and one block.

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