BYU defeated Saint Mary’s 60-39 at the Marriott Center on Thursday, Feb. 13. Saint Mary’s came to BYU after beating No. 15 ranked Gonzaga 70-60.
“Our game plan was not to give them the three,” BYU women’s basketball head coach Jeff Judkins said.
Coach Judkins said he saw what Saint Mary’s did to Gonzaga last week and emphasized the importance of perimeter defense and not allowing the three-point shot all week to his team in preparation for tonight’s game.
BYU started the game by scoring first, a basket that came courtesy of senior guard Brenna Chase Drollinger. This basket kick-started the BYU offense, helping the Cougars start the game with a 17-0 run. Saint Mary’s would eventually put points up on the board with a little over four minutes left in the first period, trailing the Cougars 25-7.
The Cougars shot perfect from the three-point line in the first quarter, with Paisley Johnson leading the way with a pair of threes, while the team combined for a perfect five for five from the three-point line. Johnson would end the first frame with a team-high of eight points.
The Cougars carried their strong defense into the second period led by the 6-foot-7 center Sara Hamson, who made her 300th career block as a Cougar during the game.
The Cougars would only allow seven points to St Mary’s in the second quarter, and BYU led 36-14 at halftime. Chase Drollinger lead all scorers with 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half.
Early in the third quarter, Chase Drollinger had a spectacular assist to Shalae Salmon, who would lay it in for two more points for the Cougars.
BYU’s strong defense held Saint Mary’s to just nine third-quarter points, and the Cougars took a 47-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
Shalae Salmon helped drive BYU to a win, scoring six points in the fourth, leading to a 60-39 BYU win.
“Our intensity and energy has been so low, so we decided that we were going to focus on the little things,” Chase Drollinger said.
The Cougars will next play at home in the Marriott Center on Saturday, Feb. 15., at 2 p.m. against the Pacific Tigers.