The University of Utah women’s basketball team is hitting the road this weekend as they look to finish the season on a high note. The final road trip of the regular season will see the Utes head to Washington State and the University of Washington. The last time Utah played these two teams, the Utes walked away with a close loss against Washington State and a blowout loss against Washington.
The Utes played valiantly against Washington State and were only down by just two points in the final period, but some critical errors and missed opportunities cost Utah the game.
“Coach always talks about how the season is a marathon and not a sprint,” said senior wing Paige Crozon. “We just need to stick to the fight and trust the process and we’ll get the outcomes that we want.”
Against the Cougars, the Utes started off slowly, connecting on just 5 of 16 shots in the first quarter. The Utes were also stone cold from deep, missing all six attempts. Despite the poor shooting, however, the Utes were ahead after the first period by a score of 13-10.
During this point of the season, Utah consistently struggled in the second quarter, and this game was no different. The Utes shot poorly and turned the ball over. The Cougars took advantage of the Utes’ struggles, and they outscored the home team 17-9 in the second period.
The Utes fought hard and came back to within two points in the final minute when Washington State missed two free throws. The Cougars corralled the rebound and the Utes were forced to foul. From that point on, Washington State made four free throws to seal the deal. There were some positives though, as the Utes held the Cougars to just 37 percent shooting from the field.
The Utes had a much tougher time against Washington. Utah faced Kelsey Plum, the nation’s leading scorer, and Chantel Osahor, the nation’s leading rebounder. The Utes played decently in the first quarter, but Washington took a nine point lead after one. Utah’s second quarter struggles didn’t let up as Washington outscored the home team 21-10, and the Huskies were up by 20 points at halftime.
Head coach Lynne Roberts spoke about her team’s performance after that game.
“Honestly I didn’t think our defense was the issue,” Roberts said. “We haven’t played anyone who transitions from defense to offense that fast all season and it was a little bit eye opening. In the half court I thought our defense was pretty good.”
Washington’s transition game was firing on all cylinders as the Huskies outscored the Utes 28-10 in fast break points. Freshman Megan Jacobs scored a team high 14 points and junior Wendy Anae added 13 in the effort.
Utah comes into this weekend having lost their last three games to Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State. After this weekend’s road trip, the Utes will return to Seattle for the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament.