LAS VEGAS — Paisley Johnson contributed a stellar stat line in the course of the BYU women’s basketball crew’s sixty eight-sixty three wins over Pepperdine on Monday in the West Coast Conference semifinal round, but those stats only begin to tell of the sophomore’s effect. Johnson completed with 20 factors scored and five assists, however, her energy and defense at some point of the second half of sparked the Cougars’ comeback from being down as many as 13 factors in the course of the 0.33 zone. Down forty nine-36 with five:44 left within the 1/3 area, Johnson changed into significant in assisting engineer a 14-3 run to finish up after which cut the Waves’ lead to simply fifty two-50 entering the fourth. “What you saw today is the type of what this team is set,” said BYU coach Jeff Judkins.
“We’ve had a few downs, and we’ve got simply come returned doing the little things. … This team is family, and they believe every different and realize if they stick together they could do whatever they need.” Regarding any schematic switches or phrases shared to show matters around, BYU gamers and coaches insisted none had been essential. “I don’t assume it is necessarily what become said, but the self-belief I saw in (Judkins’) eyes — the confidence he had for us,” Johnson said. Brenna Chase began the run with a made 3-pointer, which was accompanied up by more than one three-factor plays transformed by Johnson and Jasmine Moody earlier than Johnson ended the sector with a 3-factor basket.
They did not let up at all coming into the fourth region and until the very last buzzer sounded. A brief 6-2 run to begin the fourth quarter gave BYU the lead at fifty six-fifty four, a lead it wouldn’t surrender again. As stated, Johnson performed a massive effect on the offensive stop, but it changed into her defense that was perhaps the most critical contributor inside the comeback. The sophomore protects become capable of drawing two huge charging fouls, however extra importantly close down West Coast Conference Player of the Year Yasmine Robinson-Bacote to a single factor after she torched the Cougars for 18 in the first half of. “They had been face-guarding and making it genuinely hard to get the ball,” Robinson-Bacote stated. “Credit to them for them for no longer letting me get looks however additionally touches. They did a surely proper process.” Johnson drew individual shielding coverage on Robinson-Bacote, saying, “Juddy positioned me on her in the second 1/2 and I simply determined that she wasn’t going to the touch the ball — just deny her.” Also gambling massive became BYU freshman guard Shaylee Gonzales, who finished with 17 factors and eight rebounds to steer the group in the latter class. Getting rebounds became key to the turnaround within the 2nd 1/2, with the Waves grabbing an astounding 18 offensive rebounds in the first 1/2. “It’s not just the post gamers. The guards should find a frame as well,” Gonzales stated. “Coming out in the 2d half we determined we have been going to do that and it honestly helped us get the lead and take us to a win.” With the win, BYU advances to the WCC championship wherein it will face Gonzaga for the 0.33 time this season, after taking two tight wins over the No. 1 seed in the course of the typical season.
“Gonzaga might be a large assignment. They’re a totally, excellent team and they’ve been right here,” Judkins said. “They misplaced two gamers who are huge pieces of the pie, however, they’ll determine it out. They continually do. They have a remarkable educate.” Those two gamers in all likelihood misplaced are guards Laura Stockton and Jill Townsend. Injuries apart, the Cougars are relishing the possibility to prove themselves all over again in recreation with a view to tip off at 2 p.M. MDT. “They’re excited to play us. However we’re excited too, no longer to win the convention, however, to reveal the nation that the ones first video games were not flukes,” Johnson stated.