This past weekend, the University of Utah Women’s Basketball team was on the road to take on the Washington State Cougars and the Washington Huskies. After taking their first loss of the season last weekend against Arizona State University, Utah turned themselves around and took both games in Washington.
The Utes started off against Washington State on Friday, Jan. 11, with the Cougars putting up a fight for the win. Senior forward Megan Huff led the team with 21 points. Dre’Una Edwards has also been executing well so far this season and had a career-high of 20 points against Washington State.
Coming out of the half with the lead, Utah started to fall short in the second, allowing the Cougars to catch up. With only four minutes left on the clock, Washington State took a one-point lead against the Utes at 66-65. Utah did not give in, and responded by pressing on defense, and was able to get a run going on offense.
With only two minutes remaining on the clock, the Utes built up a 71-66 lead. With two made free throws, the Cougars were able to reach 68 points but Utah did not allow them to make any more. Edwards made one of the last two free throw shots bringing the Utes up. Utah took the win against the Cougars, 72-68.
“Particularly in the second half, we just couldn’t get things going,” said head coach Lynne Roberts. “but we shot 56 percent for the game, we had more assists than turnovers and we still out-rebounded them. We can learn from this and we will learn from it, but anytime we can win in the Pac-12 it is great.”
Keeping up a solid defense throughout their game against the Washington Huskies the Utes were able to take the win at 58-43. The Utes were shooting 51 percent throughout the game with the Huskies back at 34 percent.
“We kind of took our foot off the gas and we weren’t shooting well tonight from the three,” Roberts said. “We shot 1-of-17 from the three today, which hasn’t happened all season and not even a day in practice. So, for us to win and win convincingly without shooting well speaks to our defense.”
Utah started off strong in the first quarter shooting 57 percent and taking a 10-2 lead after a 10 point run. Washington responded quickly with a run of 8 trying to catch up to the Utes. Utah held a 7 point lead at the start of the second quarter while pushing a 6 point run as well. By the end of the first half of the game, Utah was up 39-24.
Throughout the second half of the game, the Utes shot well in the third but fell short in the fourth — only scoring 6 points in the whole quarter. The Utes were still able to pull through to take the win.
“I thought defense was the difference today,” Roberts said. “I thought we did a great job taking away what they like to do. We defended the three-point line, we didn’t foul. We got some steals, so we were able to get out and run and score in the paint.”
Utah finished off the weekend 15-1 overall and 4-1 in Pac-12 play. Looking forward, the Utes will be back in the Huntsman Center this Friday, Jan. 18 for a game against Colorado at 7 p.m. MT.