In the first round of the 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament in Seattle, Washington, the University of Utah women’s basketball team (17-13 overall, 8-10 Pac-12) lost to the Colorado Buffaloes (15-15 overall, 5-13 Pac-12) by a score of 66-56.
Colorado had a dominated Utah all night long as it shot 44.6 percent from the field compared to Utah’s 37.5 percent. The Buffaloes took advantage of Utah’s mistakes with 25 points off turnovers and had 38 points in the paint.
“It was a tough one today,” said head coach, Lynne Roberts, in a Utah Athletics press release. “Certainly no one goes into this thing thinking you are going to lose. Colorado just played better than we did today. I think JR [Payne] and her staff do a nice job, they are playing really confidently right now and they shot the ball well. It seemed like when we were poised to make a run, they answered and credit goes to them.”
Tanaeya Boclair was the leading scorer for the Utes with 12 points and went 2-of-2 behind the arc. Tori Williams had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists and Megan Huff came up with nine points off the bench. Kennedy Leonard was the top contributor for Colorado with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Utes came out strong in the first quarter and worked themselves to a five-point lead with 3:33 remaining, but the Buffaloes were able to string together a few points to make it a one-point game, 14-13.
In the second quarter, Utah struggled to score on offense and only added seven points to its score. The lead jumped to 22-14 in favor of the Buffaoes when Colorado went on a 9-0 run. The Utes countered with a run on their own with a Boclair 3-pointer and a Huff layup to cut the Colorado lead to three points. A layup from Megan Jacobs at the 2:26 mark were the final points the Utes scored in the second quarter, as the Buffaloes went on a 6-2 run to put them up 28-21 at the half.
Tilar Clark gave the Utes a much needed spark in the third quarter as she scored seven points to keep Utah’s hopes alive. The Utes got some momentum when the Colorado lead was cut from nine to five points with a Clark 3-pointer and a Huff free throw. The Buffaloes immediately answered with a 6-0 run of their own to hold a 46-35 lead heading into the final quarter.
Colorado shot an astounding 57.69 percent from the field in the second half to come away with the victory. Utah continued to fight back with Huff and Williams combining for 15 points, but the Buffaloes continued to have an answer.
Despite the tough loss, Roberts is pleased with the team’s efforts and hard work put into this year.
“I am proud of our team though, we have had a good season,” Roberts said in a Utah Athletics press release. “We got 17 wins, but it was just kind of a bad day to have a bad day. I do love my team and we will regroup and get ready for the postseason.”
The Utes will find out their postseason fate on Monday, March 12.