Women’s Basketball: Utah Set to Face Alabama

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Erika Bean (11) looks to score in the Utah Utes Women's basketball victory game over Carroll College at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, November 2, 2017. (Photo by Cassandra Palor/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

Coming off its season opening victory, the University of Utah women’s basketball team will hit the road for its first away game matchup. The Utes will travel to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide on Monday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. MT.

Freshman Tori Williams is looking to take the court on Monday refreshed and ready to build off of her most recent performance as a Ute. Williams helped lead her team to an 87-61 victory over Nevada this past Friday. She scored six three-pointers in the fourth quarter alone. She credits the success she had to her teammates who played a part in helping to make that happen.  

“If I didn’t have the team, I wouldn’t be as successful as I have been up to this point,” Williams said.

With the season just getting underway and Utah now being able to play against competition and in front of a crowd, the team is working out the little details it needs to as a group, while focusing on individual play as well. The Utes are in a building period right now, with a number of young players on the roster who will be looked to pitch in and contribute, just like Williams has begun to.

For many on the team, this will be their first road game as a Ute, but they aren’t the only ones eager to travel. Coach Lynne Roberts said it is the entire team that is looking forward to playing in Tuscaloosa. For Roberts, she knows the experiences the Utes will gain from this game will be irreplaceable and will help them down the road. Heading into the game, she has confidence in her teams shooting and passing abilities, which are things that will play an important role against Alabama.  

“I have no doubt that our team will be excited to play the game,” Roberts said. “An SEC game on the road at this point in the season, I really like that we are playing this game now.”

This will be Roberts’ first power five game as a Utah coach, as well as the team’s first time facing an SEC opponent since 2014. Utah is going up against an Alabama team that returned all five of their starters from this past season where they won 22 games, the most wins for the program since 1998.

Roberts believes that Utah and Alabama have similar traits, and that this opportunity to face a team with similar characteristics will be a positive learning opportunity as the team prepares for conference action in December.

“They’re big, they’re athletic and they pressure defensively,” Roberts said. “It’s just going to be a good test to see where we are at. Either way, however we walk out of there, we are going to know where we are at and it’ll prepare us for Pac-12 play.”

c.overfield@dailyutahchronicle.com

@CaseyOverfield

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