PULLMAN, Wash. — Despite 19 points from Paisley Johnson and a career-high 14 from Jasmine Moody, BYU women’s basketball dropped its season opener 67-50 to Washington State Saturday.
“Defensively, we played really well and followed our game plan,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Offensively, we tried to do too much with the ball and didn’t pass it. I thought Jasmine gave us a good lift and was a force inside. It’s always hard to win on the road and we need to learn how to play with one another.”
Johnson and Moody led the visiting Cougars (0-1) with 19 and 14 points, respectively, followed by Brenna Chase Drollinger, who contributed 10 points and six rebounds. Moody added a team-high eight rebounds and a block, while Sara Hamson had seven rebounds, one block and one steal.
BYU shot 26% on the night compared to Washington State’s (2-0) 40% and had just 3 bench points compared to the homestanding Cougars’ 26.
Neither team could get much going offensively early, as Washington State took a 4-2 lead midway through the first quarter. A layup from Moody and a 3-pointer by Johnson gave the visiting Cougars a 7-6 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter, but the homestanding Cougars answered with two consecutive layups of their own to end the opening period up 10-8.
BYU began the second quarter with back-to-back baskets from Johnson and Moody to regain the lead at 12-10. Washington State responded with 11 unanswered points of their own before Johnson finally stopped the visiting Cougars’ scoring drought with a driving layup to cut the deficit to 21-14. A Johnson 3-pointer followed by a layup from Moody and a 3-pointer by Ugwu brought BYU within seven once again with the score at 29-22. The homestanding Cougars proceeded to end the half on a 3-2 run to hold a 31-23 advantage after the first 20 minutes.
BYU started the second half on a quick 6-0 run after an and-one layup and free throw by Moody and a Drollinger 3-pointer to bring the score to 31-29. WSU used a 13-4 run of their own to take a 44-33 lead before Drollinger hit another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to eight. Both teams traded baskets throughout the rest of the quarter before Washington State took a 49-40 advantage into the final period.
A free throw from Hamson and a Johnson layup brought the visiting Cougars within 8 with just over five minutes remaining in the game. The homestanding Cougars then scored 5 unanswered points to increase their lead to 56-43 midway through the fourth. Washington State ended the game on an 11-7 run, with BYU scoring its final 7 points from the free-throw line.
BYU will play against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Thursday at the Marriott Center for the Cougars’ home opener. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MDT.