The Utes have shot makers and BYU could do little in Friday’s overtime loss to stop them.
Utah made a season-high 14 3-pointers and every one of them was a clutch shot, pushing the Utes to a 77-73 victory in the Marriott Center.
Time and time again, BYU would take the lead only to watch helplessly as Utah executed their offense to get wide-open looks from distance.
A 3-pointer by Andrea Torres and a jumper by Brynna Maxwell gave the Utes a 74-71 lead with 44.2 seconds to go in the extra session. BYU couldn’t make the plays to catch up and lost its second straight game to its rival.
“I thought Utah played really well,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “It was probably the best game they’ve played all year. They shot really well tonight, and their 3-pointers were the difference maker in the game. They didn’t miss and they’re not normally like that. They made big shots with the shot clock running down.”
Paisley Johnson led BYU (3-2) with 19 points and Sara Hamson tied a career-high 18 on 9 of 10 from the field.
But five Utah players made multiple 3-point shots, led by Maxwell with four, Julie Brosseau and Ola Makurat with three each and Torres and Niyah Becker with two apiece. Maxwell paced Utah with 18 points, Makurat had 13, Brosseau 11 and Torres 10 for the Utes (4-3).
BYU outscored Utah 40-12 in the paint but the Utes finished 14 of 32 (44 percent) from the 3-point line.
Johnson had eight points in the first quarter and BYU outscored the Utes 8-0 off of turnovers to take a 20-17 lead. Babalu Ugwu knocked down a 3-pointer and the Cougars advantage grew to six, 28-22, with 4:50 to play in the half.
But Johnson and Brenna Chase Drollinger each picked up their third foul and had to go to the bench, allowing the Utes to go on a 10-2 run to close the half. Maxwell, who scored 11 points in the first 20 minutes, nailed two 3-pointers in the run to give Utah a 32-30 lead at the break.
Hamson scored six points and Johnson five in the third quarter but the Utes continued to find the range from distance, making 5 of 11 3-pointers to keep it close. A triple from Brosseau cut the Cougars lead to 52-51.
BYU led by as many as five in the fourth period but couldn’t shake the Utes. Brosseau connected on her third 3-pointer for a 66-65 lead with 38.4 seconds to play. The Cougars took back the lead on a drive by Ugwu with 5.4 seconds remaining but BYU fouled Dru Gylten on the other end with 3.3 to play. Gylten made the second for the tie and Drollinger’s desperation heave from beyond midcourt rattled around the rim before falling out to force overtime.
BYU led twice in the overtime, first on a Hamson basket (69-67) and again when Drollinger scored on a layup (71-69) with 2:47 to play.
“I think you have to go through things and say that the little things made the difference,” Judkins said. “The last 3-pointer they hit, we don’t go over the flare and they get a shot. 5.5 seconds we have a foul to give and we let someone cut in front of us. There are little things like that. We had our chances. We had some looks that we missed that could have put us up six or eight points.”
Drollinger — who was just 1 of 9 from the 3-point line — scored eight points to pass the 1,000-point mark in her career.
BYU has travels to Arizona State next Friday and plays at Boise State on Dec. 11 before returning home to face Utah Valley University on Dec. 14.