Women’s Basketball: Utah Downs Arizona, 80-56

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Utah Utes forward Tilar Clark (24) lays up the ball past the defense of Purdue Boilermakers guard Andreona Keys (10) as the University of Utah hosts Purdue University at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.
Brittni Meservy

On Sunday, the University of Utah women’s basketball team (14-5 overall, 5-3 Pac-12) was presented with another opportunity to get its second conference road sweep of its season. The Utes did not allow their close game on Friday to affect their Sunday performance in a negative way and they came away with an 80-56 blowout win against Arizona on the road.

The offense was once again powered by Megan Huff, who finished the day with 17 points and came one rebound away from a double-double. Tori Williams continued her recent offensive surge by dropping 15 points.

“We got a win on the road — which is great. And we shot the ball 52 percent,” said head coach Lynne Roberts in a Utah athletics press release. “Tori and Huff really opened up the first half too. We were balanced.”

The Utes set the tone early as they came out hot, shooting the ball effectively and creating offensive opportunities thanks to their defense. The Utes remained in control all the way through the game, in large part because of a 13-3 early run they put together. The Wildcats flirted with a comeback, but Utah did not relinquish its lead.

Utah ended the first half with a 38-26 advantage, giving up some plays here and there but holding their own through the first two periods. The action in the paint was key as the Utes finished the first half with 22 rebounds compared to the Wildcats’ 14 rebounds.

“I am proud of our team,” Roberts said in a Utah athletics press release. “We had five conference wins last season and now we have matched that and we aren’t even halfway through. We are going to celebrate and enjoy this road sweep, but we know it isn’t going to get any easier.”

Although the Wildcats made things interesting at certain spots in the second half, the Utes took advantage of every chance they could to answer every mini-run by Arizona with their own points. Daneesha Provo played a big role in the team’s win with her sharp shooting from the 3-point line. In her second-half performance — especially the third quarter — her shots were falling at pivotal moments. She shot 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

“I thought Daneesha had a tough game at ASU,” Roberts said in a Utah athletics press release. “[She] didn’t do much in the first half and then had a huge third quarter which really opened it up for us.”

Up next, the Utes will return to Salt Lake for a three-game homestand against Oregon State, Oregon and Colorado. The game against the Beavers is on Friday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.

j.negrette@dailyutahchronicle.com

@Juannegrette87

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