In too deep

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

The U women’s basketball team found itself in unfamiliar territory Monday night at USC.

The Utes (5-2) fell into a 17-point hole by halftime and ultimately lost the road game 62-45 after playing a more competitive second half.

Utah has played in a variety of games this year. They blew out a few teams, battled a few more teams and went into overtime with a couple more. But the Utes haven’t had to face an overwhelming deficit like they did Monday night in Los Angeles.

After being shut out in the first half, Morgan Warburton hit four 3-pointers in the second half to cut the USC lead to seven at 35-28.

But it was a short run, and it didn’t stick. The Women of Troy were playing too well and minutes later went on their own run in which they scored 12 unanswered points in three minutes.

The damage from the first half had been done (the Utes shot just 1-for-9 in the opening seven minutes) and would prove too difficult to overcome.

“We did a better job against them in the second half,” Utah head coach Elaine Elliott said. “We played them even in the second half. We needed a bigger inside presence, and it really shows up in a game like this.”

Although the Utes played the Women of Troy toe-to-toe in the second half — both teams scored 30 second-half points — they struggled in the first half.

The battle for rebounds was a blowout in itself. The Women of Troy garnered 22 rebounds in the first half while the Utes came down with just 11 boards.

Compounding their problems, the Utes shot just 30.6 percent from the field.

“Our first half’s offensive performance was very poor,” Elliott said.

Speaking of USC, Elliott said, “They’re very good. (Losing to them is) not going to hurt us, but (beating them) certainly could’ve helped us.”

Elliott explained what it takes to win in basketball.

“It’s a pretty simple game,” Elliott said. “You’ve got to put the ball in the hole. But the shots weren’t dropping.”

On Dec. 8, the Utes travel to Minnesota for a game.

“Six out of seven road games in a stretch is very difficult,” Elliott said. “I am not displeased. I think they came to play and they’ll beat a lot of teams.”

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