Utes blow away Griffins

By By Whitney O'Bannon, Staff Writer and

By Whitney O’Bannon, Staff Writer

Although Westminster is close to the U in proximity, its women’s basketball team could not have been farther from stealing a victory Tuesday when the Utes blew them away 69-49.

Jumping out to a 8-0 run in the first five minutes, Utah never let the Griffins back in the game. The Utes had an impressive first half, holding Westminster to a mere 16 points and 19.2 percent field goal percentage.

Utah only had five turnovers in the first half and 14 assists. It was a tale of two quarters, though.

Although its first half performance was impressive, Utah came into the second half unprepared. The Utes led by as many as 31 points early in the second, but their lackadaisical attitude accompanied by a fighting Westminster team was disappointing despite their eventual large victory.

“We played with interest in the first half and then I thought they played with more interest in the second half,” said head coach Elaine Elliott. “It’s what you bring to the court to start. We started well in the first half and I think then we had the lead and they came with a lot more drive than we did in the second.”

Getting the lead early proved to be important, but the Utes know letting up should never be an option in any game, regardless of the caliber of the opponent.

“We just have to keep the same intensity no matter who it is,” said Morgan Warburton, the game’s leading scorer. “We just got too comfortable. You can’t always be comfortable with where you are, you have to always want to progress. We can’t just settle for what we already are, we have to keep working towards something better.”

The careless second half consisted of turnover after turnover, which has been the name of the game for Utah all season. The Utes finished the game with 19 turnovers and 19 assists.

“We have to do better taking care of the ball,” said starting forward Halie Sawyer.

Sawyer had an all-around game with her first double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 boards.

Westminster never gave Utah a break as it pressed full-court every time possession. However, the press gave the Utes the opportunity to run and get easy baskets inside. They had 42 points in the paint versus the Griffins’ 14.

Westminster had a good turnout from its bench with 21 of its total points. Utah’s bench went scoreless during the game.

Although it dug itself into a hole early, Westminster never went away. The Griffins had a 10-0 run early in the second half and continued to improve until the final buzzer.

“They came at us, they didn’t quit,” Elliott said. “They made a great adjustment. I thought they looked very good in the second half and we just went to sleep.”

Coming off the confidence-building win over Westminster, the Utes look to Saturday when they take on Santa Clara at home in the Huntsman Center.

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