Josh Carter | Posted: 7 Mar 2020 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU Falls 62-51 to Pepperdine in WCC Quarterfinals

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Paisley Johnson shoots a layup while several players look on.

LAS VEGAS — The No. 3 seed BYU women’s basketball team fell to No. 6 seed Pepperdine 62-51 in the WCC Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Orleans Arena.

Final Boxscore

"First of all, I want to congratulate Pepperdine," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "They played a really good game. We struggled today offensively and defensively. They may have tried a little bit too hard. I’m proud of our team. Even though they didn’t play their best, they never gave up. It’s been a hard but rewarding season. A lot of our players had to adjust to different roles this year."

Paisley Johnson led the team with 15 points to go along with five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Sara Hamson followed with 11 points, five rebounds, four blocks and one steal, while Brenna Chase Drollinger contributed 10 points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds.

Jasmine Moody added seven points and three rebounds for the Cougars (18-11) and Kaylee Smiler chipped in four points off the bench while also adding two rebounds and one assist.

Playing from behind for most of the game, BYU couldn’t quite get over the hump despite outscoring the Waves (16-14) in the paint 26-16 and tying the game at 45 early in the fourth.  

Two baskets in the paint by Hamson and a pair of free throws by Moody tied the game at six, four minutes into the contest. Back-to-back layups by Johnson and Smiler followed by a pair of free throws by Drollinger then tied the game at 12. Pepperdine, however, finished the quarter on a 4-1 run to take a 16-13 advantage.

The Waves opened the second quarter with three consecutive baskets to go up 22-13. BYU answered with a 10-0 run highlighted by layups from Hamson, Johnson and Salmon to take a 23-22 lead with just over a minute left in the half. Pepperdine then scored five unanswered points to take a 27-23 lead into the locker room.

Johnson drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing on the Cougars’ first offensive possession of the second half to bring BYU within one, 27-26. The Waves then scored seven consecutive points before a triple by Drollinger brought the score to 34-29 for Pepperdine. Another trey by Drollinger followed by a steal and a layup by Johnson brought the Cougars within two, 36-34, with 6:31 left in the third.

After Drollinger found Smiler for a fast-break layup, Drollinger hit a left-handed floater in the lane to tie the game at 40 with two minutes left in the third quarter. The Waves then went on a 5-1 run before Smiler found a cutting Hamson for a layup to bring the Cougars within two, 45-43, at the end of the third.

Moody made a hook-shot in the paint to tie the game at 45 before Pepperdine went on a 6-0 run to go up 51-45 three minutes into the fourth. Johnson then hit a baseline jumper, but the Waves proceeded to score four unanswered points to take a 55-47 advantage with 5:05 left.

Hamson made a shot in the paint while being fouled to cut BYU’s deficit to six, 55-49, with 2:18 remaining. Pepperdine then completed a three-point play to take a 58-49 lead with 1:38 left. The Cougars failed to convert on their next two offensive possessions and were forced to intentionally foul on the defensive end to stop the clock. The Waves made four consecutive free throws to go up 62-49 with 55 seconds left.

Malli Valgardson Perri made one last shot in the paint before time expired, bringing the final score to 62-51 for Pepperdine.

Team Notes

  • For the ninth time on the year, three Cougar players finished a game with double figures in points. Paisley Johnson (15), Sara Hamson (11), Brenna Drollinger (10).
  • The Cougars shot 32.7 percent from the field, 20 from behind the arc and 75 percent from the free-throw line.
  • BYU picked up 14 points in the paint compared with eight for Pepperdine in the first half of action. For the game, the Cougars tallied 26 points in the paint compared with 15 for the Waves.

Player Notes

  • Sara Hamson pulled down five rebounds and got four blocks in the first half, the most after the first 20 minutes of action. She also scored six points to tie for team bests. She picked up her 10th game with double-digit points finishing with 11 before fouling out. Her stat line included tying for team bests in rebounds with five and recording a game-high four blocks.
  • Paisley Johnson tied in points with six heading into halftime. With her team-best 15 total points in the game, she recorded her 22nd game with double-figure points. She tied with team bests in rebounds with five, dished out two assists and got one steal.
  • With 10 points, Brenna Drollinger picked up her 17th game with 10+points. She tied for team highs in assists with three and had a game-high three steals.
  • Babalu Ugwu came off the bench tying for team bests in rebounds with five and in assists with three while playing 16 minutes.
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