Utes keep it close with No. 11 ASU, but drop contest 58-48

Utes+keep+it+close+with+No.+11+ASU%2C+but+drop+contest+58-48

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--Erin Burns

The Utes suffered another loss in the Pac-12, losing 58-48 to 11th-ranked Arizona State on Sunday afternoon in Salt Lake City.

Utah competed with ASU the entire game, cutting its lead to two points with about five minutes left in the second half, behind Taneya Boclair who managed to score seven points in a five-minute span. Boclair finished out the game with 15 points and four rebounds.

RELATED: BOCLAIR BEAT THE ODDS TO BRING HER HEIGHT TO THE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SQUAD

Ute head coach Anthony Levrets said Boclair is turning into the player they knew she could become, even though she is not a natural wing player.

“She’s a really talented athletic wing,” Levrets said. “ She’s the whole package. We knew it when we recruited her. We felt like we were getting a really special player. She can shoot it well enough and she is explosive.”

Boclair said that against the Sun Devils, she was figuring out how to take the ball to the hole and hopes to do that for the rest of the season.

“[Levrets] has definitely given me a lot of freedom to attack the basket, if I have an open lane, and I am always looking to drive,” Boclair said. “I just play for my team, it’s never about how many points I have. [Levrets] says if you have an open shot you need to take it, but play smart, play aggressive.”

Although the team came out of the Huntsman Center with another loss, Levrets was proud of the way his team played, but he mentions how the Utes’ offensive play needs to improve.

“I’m very proud of our effort against a really, really good team,” Levrets said. “It’s been the same old story for us all year long. Something offensively bites us and the inability to knock down free throws was huge tonight. We shoot a ton of them, but in that kind of game, you got to make those. I’m really proud of our energy and our effort and our competitiveness against a really good team.”

Dani Rodriguez, after sitting out against Washington last Sunday, bounced back against Arizona State by scoring 13 points and grabbing four rebounds, in addition to her five assists. Despite her contributions on offense, Levrets said the highlight of Rodriguez’s performance was her defense.

“She did an unbelievable job defensively,” Levrets said.

At the tip, the Utes were a step behind the Sun Devils. After Arizona State drained a three on its first possession, Utah suffered to get a shot off and committed a shot-clock violation. However, the Utes did not go quietly as they put points on the board their next three possessions and even led the majority of the time.

Levrets said this lead was due in part to the team attacking the basket, but in the end, Utah committeed too many turnovers and this was why the lead was eventually lost. The Utes were held scoreless for the last five and a half minutes of the contest.

Taryn Wicijowski missed all three of her shot attempts in the first half, but in the second half, she scored six points and finished with five rebounds, two of them being offensive rebounds.

The next game for the Utes will be on Friday against USC.

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