Daneesha Provo (0) crosses the ball under her legs 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)

Forward Megan Huff of the University of Utah women’s basketball team continued her dominant 2017 campaign on the road against Alabama on Monday night. She generated plays on both the offensive and defensive sides. Huff went 2-for-2 from behind the arc, and she finished the night with 13 points and eight rebounds. That was not enough for the Utes who dropped their first game of the season, 65-60.

Utah’s first-half performance had the team going into halftime with confidence, as it led by five points. In the first half, Utah was 11-for-30 from the field and 3-for-8 from deep. The Utes put up two 15 point quarters (first and second) in what amounted to a physical contest.

“I thought we controlled the first half and they controlled the second,” said head coach Lynne Roberts.

Erika Bean had five assists and one steal in her 30 minutes on the floor. However, the Utes failed to get much scoring output from their starting five, outside of Huff and center Emily Potter. The two starters put up a combined 24 points, while the rest of the starting lineup contributed 16 points. The starting unit also combined for 16 fouls, which allowed Alabama to stay in the game and eventually take over.

“They scored 22 second-half free throws, so it really was a tale of two halves,” Roberts said. “We had a great shot to win it, but it didn’t fall in our favor.”

There were some positive takeaways from the game for Utah, such as its consistent paint presence. The Utes out-rebounded the Crimson Tide, 39-36. They also finished with 18 assists, eight of which the bench was responsible for. Two of the Utes who subbed in for the starters were Tori Williams, who finished with eight points and Daneesha Provo, who added seven more.

Having had the chance to go up against an SEC power is something the Utes believe will help them as they move forward and prepare for conference play that gets underway at the end of December. A match-up against Alabama showed the team where it stands and where it can make improvements.

“This was good for us,” Roberts said. “Win or lose, we knew we would learn from this game. This is going to get us ready for Pac-12 play.”

The Utes will return to action when they face in-state opponent Weber State Wildcats on Friday, Nov. 17 at the Dee Events Center in Ogden at 7 p.m. MT.

j.negrette@dailyutahchronicle.com

@Juanderful887

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