Four different players scored in double-digits as the Cougars downed Santa Clara 71-48 in a West Coast Conference contest at the Marriott Center on Saturday.
“I thought today was really one of our best offensive performances,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “Our inside presence really showed this afternoon. Sara (Hamson) offensively was outstanding, and Shalae (Salmon) did what Shalae needed to do in the second half.”
BYU jumped out to a hot start and a 6-0 lead behind layups from Brenna Chase Drollinger and Sara Hamson, followed by a fadeaway mid-range jumper from Maria Albiero.
The Cougars continued to shoot well throughout the first part of the quarter making 4 of 6 from the field to shoot 67%. Hamson contributed early by grabbing three rebounds in the first five minutes of the opening period.
Drollinger dropped another bucket from the baseline and Paisley Johnson added a layup of her own through contact. Strong defense from the Cougars held the Broncos to 3-of-16 shooting from the field. Drollinger ended the quarter with a driving layup in the final seconds to make the score 14-9 for BYU after the first period.
The second quarter started with an offensive rebound from senior Jasmine Moody that led to a quick layup from Hamson to make the score 16-9. Hamson slashed to the rim for another layup to extend the Cougar lead.
Malli Valgardson Perri added a turnaround jumper of her own near the rim that was followed by another layup by Hamson. Babalu Ugwu added two buckets back-to-back to give BYU its largest lead of the half at 11 points to make the score 27-16.
The Cougar defense held Santa Clara to 8-of-31 (25.8%) shooting and 4-of-16 (25%) from three in the opening half. Hamson led all scorers with 10 points herself on 5-of-8 shooting as well as grabbing a game-high five rebounds.
The first half concluded with two driving layups from Johnson, the second coming with three seconds left before the buzzer sounded as BYU ended the half with the lead, 31-22.
Third period scoring began with a trey from Moody to make the lead 34-22. The Broncos responded with a three of their own before Hamson added another bucket at the rim.
After a rebound from Hamson, Johnson dished a quick pass to Moody for a layup to make the score 40-29. Johnson was fouled on an ensuing three and drained two of her three shots to extend the Cougar lead even further.
Back-to-back buckets from Ugwu gave the Cougars their largest lead of the afternoon up to that point as she made a wide-open layup followed by a three-point shot.
Albiero stole the ball with seconds left in the quarter and dished the ball to Shalae Salmon who rolled the ball in as time expired. Her layup made the BYU lead 51-36 at the end of the third.
The final quarter began with back-to-back shots from Drollinger and Salmon to make the Cougar lead 55-36. Johnson completed a 3-point play after making a contested layup to give BYU a 61-39 advantage.
Perri dropped a midrange bucket and freshman Kaylee Smiler drained a three-pointer in the final two minutes. The final points for the Cougars came from a Perri trey as BYU put the game away, 71-48.
The Cougars return to action on Thursday to take on conference foe Portland in the Chiles Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PDT. The game will be broadcast on the WCC Network.