After a slow start, the University of Utah women’s basketball team found its rhythm and went on to win its home opener on Friday against Nevada, 87-61.
Head Coach Lynne Roberts was pleased with the victory and the way her team shot and moved the ball around the court. She noted that the first half of the game looked like the Utes were jumpy and nervous, but they settled down for the remainder of the game.
“In the second half, I thought that we were much more confident both offensively and defensively,” Roberts said. “If we can get steals or force the other team to take quick shots, then I like our chances in any game.”
The shooting performances from Daneesha Provo and Megan Huff, as well as the confidence that the new players showed in their first season with Utah, caught Roberts’ eye.
Boosting the Utes at the start of the game, Provo and Tanaeya Boclair found success behind the arc. Aided by Kiana Moore, who moved the ball swiftly around the court, Emily Potter and Megan Jacobs were able to contribue a number of baskets to add to the Utes’ lead.
Jacobs ran the clock down before Provo quickly shot another three, her third 3-pointer of the half, to take a 36-26 lead heading into the locker rooms.
The Utes began the second half off on a much better note than the first half by putting up some early points on the board. In the third quarter, a loose ball by Nevada led to a layup by Tilar Clark. Not long after, Huff added 10 points to the board — two baskets from the field and two 3-point shots.
Working well as a pair, Jacobs and Moore had a fast break, earning the Utes two more points. By the end of the third quarter, the Utes lead the Wolfpack by 20 points.
Tori Williams had a strong start to her career as a Ute. She was one of the top scorers in the game, and she carried the team through the duration of the second half. In the fourth quarter she came in and drilled three consecutive 3-pointers. Williams went on to total six 3-pointers and 18 total points in the fourth quarter alone. Williams said that Utah’s tempo, ability to drive to the hoop and make free throws helped her get hyped.
“I love it. I love the coaching staff. I love my teammates,” Williams said. “That’s why I came to Utah. Being on the court and playing with my teammates is what really gets us going.”
On Monday, Nov. 13 the Utes will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide at 6 p.m. MT.