Utes drop close one to Buffaloes in overtime 77-72

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The Utes suffered yet another loss Wednesday night in Boulder, Colo. when they fell to Colorado in overtime with a final score of 77-72. This marks Utah’s fifth straight loss.

Dani Rodriguez missed a potential game winner with five seconds left in regulation when the game was tied 63-63, but her shot bounced off the back of the rim and Utah was unable to grab an offensive rebound. The team also could have put the game away during overtime when they led on two separate occasions by one point each time. However, Utes head coach Anthony Levrets stressed the game was not only dependent on how that one play, or any single play, resulted.

“It’s not one play at the end of a game,” Levrets said. “It’s the course of the game. You got to take advantage of every opportunity. We had some opportunity in the first half that slipped away from us. We had some really poor execution down the stretch of overtime when we had a chance to put it away and that was the difference in the game.”

Taryn Wicijowski shot 10-for-15 on the night and led the team with 29 points and 14 rebounds, her sixth double-double of the season. Additionally, the forward sat just two minutes the entire contest. Levrets was pleased with her performance as a whole, in addition to the team’s overall attempt, but stressed the Utes need more than that.

“[Wicijowski’s] a really good player,” Levrets said. “She’s been struggling through some ailments. I feel like she is finally starting to get healthy here. She obviously has an incredible skill set, really hard to guard down inside and I’m really proud of her effort. I’m proud of all of our team’s effort, but we got to get beyond [effort] and get a win.”

Wicijowski was in a battle with Colorado’s Lexy Kresl most of the night, who had 27 points on the night in addition to four assists.

“She played great, I give her a ton of credit,” Levrets said. “They went right at us with her, they had not done that to other teams this year and we did not match that early enough. She got herself going and when she gets going she’s really hard to contain.”

Both teams were stricken with foul trouble as the referees were calling tight game. Starting point guard Rodriguez was sidelined during the second half after receiving her fourth foul with about 12 minutes left to play and eventually fouled out midway through overtime. Joeseta Fatuesi came out of game with four fouls with more than 11 minutes left after accumulating three personal fouls in a span of four minutes. She also fouled out in overtime with 39 seconds remained. With all the fouls being called in this game, the Buffaloes capitalized from the free throw line where they shot 31-for-40.

Tanaeya Boclair was the only other Ute in double figures as she registered 12 points, with most of her points coming in the first half.

Utah will get an opportunity to revenge itself when Colorado comes to the Huntsman Center on Sunday. According to Levrets, the rematch will be a lot like the original.

“The second game’s always a dog fight because everybody knows what each other is doing,” Levrets said. “We’ll make some adjustments, they’ll make some adjustments, but we know exactly what the other group is going to do. It’s just going to be a fight, kind of like tonight was.”

 

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