The University of Utah women’s basketball team (17-12 overall, 8-10 Pac-12) toughed it our for another overtime game, but the team eventually lost to No. 10 UCLA (23-6 overall, 14-4 Pac-12), 78-71. The Utes had a solid offensive night, as they shot 42.9 percent from the floor and the Bruins shot 46.3 percent.
Both teams performed well in the paint as the Utes had 34 points and the Bruins had 32. UCLA took advantage of Utah’s mistakes and scored 20 points off of Utah’s 22 turnovers.
“UCLA is a great team and incredibly talented and well coached,” head coach Lynne Roberts said in a Utah Athletics press release. “I thought our team executed the game plan very well and didn’t ever get rattled. We hung in there and every player did their part. We just seemed to run out of gas a little in overtime and didn’t make enough plays.”
Emily Potter had another solid performance with 24 points and nine rebounds while Tori Williams contributed 13 points, two assists and one block. Megan Jacobs was a key player as she came off the bench to come away with 9 points and two steals.
Both teams were scoreless to start the first quarter until the 8:01 mark where UCLA struck first with a free throw from Kennedy Burke and soon after that a layup from Monique Billings. A couple shots later, a 3-pointer from Williams tied the game at five. UCLA had a one-point edge heading into the second quarter at 14-13.
All of Jacobs’s points came in the second quarter as she helped Utah cut a double digit-deficit to make it a three-point game at halftime, 31-28.
The second half of the contest started with a pair of made shots for each squad and a free throw from Potter. Soon after that, Tanaeya Boclair drilled a 3-pointer to give Utah a one-point edge, 36-35, over UCLA with 6:57 left to play in the third quarter. The lead changed hands a multiple times after that, but the Utes continued to hang with the Bruins. At the end of the third quarter, UCLA was up 45-44.
UCLA jumped out to a six-point lead with 5:37 to play in the fourth quarter, but Utah kept battling and a layup from Potter tied the game at 61 with 1:06 left to play. Tilar Clark tied the game at 65 with one second left on the clock to send the game into overtime.
The score was even going into overtime, but a 3-pointer from Bruin Kelli Hayes put the Bruins on top, 70-67, and the Bruins had a steady handle on the game from that point on. Williams made a couple of free throws to put the game within four points, but UCLA iced the game with its own made free throws.
“I am extremely proud of our team,” Roberts said in a Utah Athletics press release. “ Two overtime games this weekend, on the road and without our two leading scorers, and our team stuck together and fought. I’m a competitor and hate losing, but my team showed some serious grit and desire this weekend. I am proud to coach them.”
The Utes are in the No. 8 seed as they head to Seattle, Washington, to take on the Colorado Buffaloes in the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday, March 1.