BYU senior Brenna Drollinger filled up the stat sheet on Saturday against San Diego.
She was more impressed with her team earning a “W.”
Drollinger broke out of a shooting slump to help propel the Cougars to a 52-36 win against the Toreros, her game was more than just scoring points. This season has been a struggle for Drollinger on the offensive end as she adjusts to a myriad of defense designed to limit her outside shooting. But the senior is still the Cougars best passer and competes hard on the defensive end.
“Singular plays are fun but when we come together as a team and win, it’s super fun,” Drollinger said. “I think the best feeling was the win at the end of the game with my teammates. Today we turned things around with everybody giving their all and finally putting together four good quarters.”
Drollinger charted this box score: 13 points, nine assists, six rebounds, six steals and a block, so she had her handprints on a lot of positive plays for the Cougars. She also had nine turnovers against the relentless and physical San Diego defense but the good far outweighed the bad in this game.
After a pair of home losses last week against Gonzaga and Portland, Judkins was happy with his team’s effort and the results.
“It sure feels a lot better to win,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “Brenna was really active tonight. (Myah) Pace is a very good player and Brenna did a good job defensively on her, especially in transition. Brenna finally hit a couple of shots. When that first one went down she looked at me like the whole weight of the world came off her shoulders.”
San Diego (2-3 WCC, 8-7 overall) stayed in the game by hitting the offensive board (19 offensive rebounds and 11 second-chance points) and causing 21 turnovers. But the Toreros shot so poorly you would have thought somebody turned out the lights in the Marriott Center when they were on the offensive end. San Diego was a frigid 3 of 29 in the second half (13) percent and finished the game just 11 of 59 (19 percent). Pace, the Toreros leading scorer at 12 points a game, had a game-high 10 rebounds but was just 2 of 9 from the field for six points.
“It was not a pretty game but it was a game where we slugged it out,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “Defensively we wore then down. They were tired in the second half and didn’t cut or move as hard. Part of that was our physicality early in the game. Our bench also came in and gave us a really good lift.”
Befitting a game featuring two good defenses, the Cougars and Toreros both went through long scoring droughts at times. San Diego was able to get to the line in the first quarter and took a 12-5 lead after a steal and layup by Aminata Dosso. BYU went on a 12-0 run that crossed over from the first quarter to the second, fueled by eight points and a pair of 3-pointers by Drollinger, for a 17-12 advantage at the 8:18 mark. But San Diego battled back and the two teams traded baskets until Maria Albiero took a pass from Drollinger off the break for a score and a 26-24 BYU lead. Drollinger blocked the Toreros last attempt and the Cougars took that 2-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Cougars led by as many as nine points in the third quarter, holding San Diego to only 2 of 15 (X) from the field. A 3-pointer by Paisley Johnson pushed the BYU advantage to 37-28 but the Toreros closed to within six, 37-31, entering the fourth period.
San Diego scored the first basket of the fourth but then it was all Cougars. Drollinger and Johnson each had two assists in the quarter as BYU pulled away for the win.
Johnson added 12 points for the Cougars (3-2, 8-7), who outscored the Toreros 30-14 in the paint. Judkins also noted solid contributions off the bench from Jasmine Moody, Shalae Salmon and Khaedin Tato in the victory.
BYU plays on the road in league play next week at Pacific and Saint Mary’s.