Despite a tough loss to Colorado (12-11, 3-9 Pac 12) on Thursday at home, the University of Utah women’s basketball team (15-8, 6-6 Pac 12) bounced back to defeat the Buffaloes, 78-74 on the road on Sunday. Utah’s victory improves its road record to 5-0 in conference action.
Megan Huff lead the way with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and going 1-for-2 at the free throw line. Daneesha Provo followed her with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting and going perfect at the charity stripe, 5-for-5.
The first quarter started off with a Colorado bucket, but Utah answered back with a 6-0 run. Tori Williams drilled a 3-pointer to give the Utes a two point advantage late in the quarter.
With 6:04 to play before halftime and tied at 25 a piece, Tilar Clark slowed down the Buffaloes’ momentum by drilling one from deep. Despite the Utes trying to pull away, they concluded the end of the first half with their first halftime tie of the season, 35-35.
The first 20 minutes of play consisted of eight ties and three lead changes, while both team’s shot consistent. By the end of the night, Utah had shot 44.8 percent from the field compared to Colorado’s 42.6 percent.
In the third quarter, Utah struggled for a bit defensively as it fouled Zoey Correal twice, after she made back-to-back buckets. The energy shifted to Colorado’s side when Megan Huff and Emily Potter struggled to score, but head coach Lynne Roberts was proud of the way Utah regrouped and answered back to Colorado’s offense.
“When you are playing against really good guard play, we need that perimeter defense,” Roberts said in a Utah athletics press release. “Give Colorado credit, they shot well from the [3-point line] and rebounded like crazy, we just shot really well in the second half.”
In the final quarter, Utah outscored Colorado 22-14 en route to its victory. The Utes rallied a 9-2 run that included Provo’s three consecutive 3-pointers to take a 67-63 lead, forcing Colorado to call a timeout. In the final five seconds of the contest, a missed layup by Colorado’s Kennedy Leonard gave the Utes an opportunity to close out the game. Provo was fouled with 4.5 seconds left, and she put the game out of reach for Colorado.
“We just made shots in the fourth quarter, so I am proud of our team for that,” Roberts said in a Utah athletics press release. “We shot 60 percent in the fourth, and that is where we won the game. I thought Daneesha Provo’s three 3-pointers in a row were huge. Megan Huff came up with big shots in the fourth quarter. But the things that don’t show up in the stats are things like how Tanaeya Boclair and Tilar Clark were huge defensively coming off the bench.”
Up next, the Utes travel to California to play a pair of games. First they will visit Stanford on Friday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.