On Friday, the University of Utah women’s basketball team (15-10 overall, 6-8 Pac-12) started its road trip in California on the wrong foot. Utah was defeated by the No. 17-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 70-49.
The offense was out of rhythm the entire evening, mustering only 15 points by halftime and six points in the second quarter alone. Usual offensive catalyst Megan Huff was held in check to the tune of five total points and seven rebounds. Daneesha Provo and Emily Potter led the way with 14 and 12 points respectively, to finish as the only players in double-digit scoring.
Utah’s defense was outrebounded 37-36. In addition, the Utes’ 14 turnovers on the night led to 12 Cardinal points. Although the rebound numbers weren’t down compared to what Utah normally puts up, the offense did not capitalize, missing shots and second-chance opportunities. The Utes converted six points on their second-chance opportunities.
“We tried to do too much one-on-one, which is not how we normally play,” said head coach Lynne Roberts in a Utah athletics press release. “But then in the second half, we only had four turnovers and six assists. We did a good job on the boards, but we just didn’t shoot well. We shot 18 percent in the first half. We had a better second half, but Stanford is good and you have to give credit to them.”
The slow start from the Utes limited them throughout the game and they were unable to pose a real threat or get a run going. Outside of a short run during the third quarter in which they scored seven consecutive points, the Utes were unable to string together a complete strong offensive quarter. The Cardinal controlled the boards and made smart decisions with the ball. They had a player take over the game, which was something Utah lacked during the contest.
Stanford’s Brittany McPhee gave Utah fits, and she found ways to get the open shots, going 7-of-11 from the field. Nadia Fingall came off the bench for the Cardinal, and she produced 10 points and six rebounds, which was a key to breaking things open for Stanford. Fingall’s efforts gave Stanford a presence off the bench. The Utes did not get much from their bench, Tanaeya BoClair led the unit with five points, plus she added three defense rebounds.
Freshman Tori Williams was unable to score a basket. She had two assists, but the Utes missed her usual contributions and her struggles allowed Stanford to key in on Huff and Provo. On a night where two starters and key offensive opponents in Huff and Williams combined for five points, the defense had to bail them out. Although, against Stanford, that wasn’t enough.