Josh Carter | Posted: 18 Jan 2020 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Smiler and Drollinger help BYU to 65-55 win over Saint Mary’s

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K Smiler Free Throw

MORAGA, Calif. — Kaylee Smiler scored a career-high 19 points and Brenna Chase Drollinger added 18 as the BYU women’s basketball team defeated Saint Mary’s 65-55 Saturday afternoon at the University Credit Union Pavilion.

BYU at Saint Mary's Final Box Score

"Kaylee had a great game for us today, what a way to step up when we needed her to. I’m very happy for her and all her hard work," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "I thought we played great team defense today and Brenna and Maria were solid for us today both offensively and defensively. I’m really happy for our team."

Smiler shot seven of nine from the floor, including a perfect four of four from 3-point range, while also adding six rebounds and two steals. Drollinger contributed four rebounds and four assists to go along with her 18 points while Maria Albiero added 14 points, two assists and two steals. Sara Hamson recorded seven blocks and five rebounds.

The Cougars (10-7, 5-2 WCC), playing without junior guard Paisley Johnson due to an ankle injury, shot 37.9 percent from 3-point range and used 24 bench points to get past the Gaels (9-10, 4-4 WCC).

Albiero scored BYU’s first points of the game with a midrange jumper to bring the score to 3-2 for Saint Mary’s two minutes into the contest. The Gaels then responded with an 8-0 run to go up 11-2. Back-to-back triples by Smiler and Drollinger followed by a layup by Smiler brought the Cougars within two, 13-11. Teams traded baskets to end the first quarter, with Drollinger hitting a pair of deep 3-pointers from the right wing to bring the score to 20-17 for Saint Mary’s.

BYU came out strong to open the second quarter, with a Smiler trey followed by layups by Smiler and Drollinger putting the Cougars up 24-23. Two more triples by Albiero put BYU up three, 30-27, with two minutes left in the half. A basket in the paint by Moody brought the score to 32-30 for the Cougars after the first 20 minutes.

The Gaels opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers, but a driving layup by Otuafi and an Albiero trey gave BYU a 37-36 advantage. A 7-3 run fueled by a Smiler layup and triple put the Cougars up four, 45-41, with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. A turnaround jumper by Salmon and another 3-pointer by Smiler brought the score to 50-47 for BYU at the end of the third.

A pair of free throws and a driving layup by Drollinger gave the Cougars a 54-49 advantage two minutes into the fourth quarter. Drollinger then found Hamson for a layup and Albiero hit a triple to extend BYU’s lead to seven, 59-52, with 3:29 remaining. Saint Mary’s made a 3-pointer to cut the Cougars’ lead to four, 59-55, with 2:06 left in the game.

BYU’s defense, however, came up big in the last couple minutes and did not allow the Gaels to score another basket the remainder of the contest. The Cougars knocked down six free throws during the final minute to seal the 65-55 win.

BYU returns to the Marriott Center to host San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 11 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and on the BYUtv App. Tickets can be purchased on

Team Notes

  • BYU took a two-point, 32-30 edge into the break in the game at St. Mary’s and finished with a 65-55 victory to improve its record to 10-7, 5-3 on the season. The Cougars are now 10-1 when leading at halftime.
  • St. Mary’s had the advantage in rebounds through the first 20 minutes of action, pulling down 23 boards to BYU’s 17. For the game, the Gaels grabbed 45 rebounds to the Cougars’ 37.
  • In the first half, SMC had dished out 10 assists compared with three for BYU. The Gaels finished the game with the advantage in that category dishing out 14 to BYU’s nine.
  • The Cougars tallied six steals in the first half while the Gaels had just one. BYU finished the game with a total of 10 steals. SMC did not record a steal in the second half.
  • BYU shot 35.5 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from 3-point range and 62.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Player Notes

  • Redshirt freshman Kaylee Smiler came off the bench scoring 10 points in the first half of action for season and career highs. She ended the contest with a game- and career-high 19 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the field and 4 of 4 from behind the arc. She tied for team bests in rebounds with six and got two steals.
  • Brenna Chase Drollinger tallied 11 points in the first half picking up her 10th and third straight game with double-digit points. She finished with 18 points, four rebounds and a game-best four assists.
  • Babalu Ugwu pulled down four rebounds to lead the Cougars in the first half. For the game, she finished tied for team bests with six rebounds. Ugwu was 3 of 4 from the charity stripe while also collecting two steals.
  • Freshman Leilani Otuafi started in her first collegiate game and contributed four points, three rebounds and one assist.
  • Sara Hamson recorded two blocks in the first 20 minutes of action for BYU, finishing the WCC matchup with a  game-high seven blocks. She also scored two points, got one assist, one steal and grabbed five rebounds.
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