Women’s hoops: Utes win it on game-winning shot from Rodriguez

Utah’s Dani Rodriguez hit the game winning-shot for the Utes with 2.3 seconds left to play when Utah beat Oregon 66-64 night on ‘Senior Night’ in the Huntsman Center.

Senior guard Cheyenne Wilson said her heart was racing as Rodriguez’s shot went up in the final seconds.

“This game was really fun,” Wilson said. “Before we even came out here, we talked about giving it all and leaving everything on the court and I believed that my team did that tonight.

With Utah leading 64-62 in the closing moments, Oregon’s Lexi Peterson drilled a three-pointer with about 15 seconds left to play and appeared to give the Ducks the lead. However, there was an error at the scorer’s table and while the shot was good, the score was off by one point and Peterson’s three only tied the game at 64.

Despite the scoring miscue, it wouldn’t have made a difference either way, as the Utes took care of things down the stretch.

“Very proud of our team,” Levrets said. “Had to show resiliency. Had to figure out a way to fight and unfortunate the way the scoreboard ended, but it was right. I knew it when it was going on, we all did on the bench. Pleased that it didn’t affect the outcome of the game.”

Both of Utah’s seniors showed up for senior night. Wilson came ready to play and scored 16 points, 13 of which came in the first half, while Taryn Wicijowski, after scoring only two points in the first half, put up 15 points overall to go along with her four rebounds and six assists.

Both seniors were awarded player of the game by their coach.

“I thought that they played their tails off,” Levrets said.

Wilson said she was not going to let anything get to her in this one.

“I definitely had a different mindset. I was more tunnel-vision with getting a win and doing what I can,” Wilson said.

Utah led by 11 points in the second half, and eight in the first. Both times Oregon made a comeback to keep the Utes honest. Wilson said the team adapted to how the Ducks were playing.

“We were getting beasted on the boards tonight,” Wilson said. “But we made an adjustment and we made just enough adjustments to win and it’s really executing plays and getting stops and finishing out the play.

With 1:04 left to play, Wilson was issued a technical foul for batting the ball away with her fist.

Oregon resorted to fouling the Utes on each of their possessions towards the end of the game, but despite Utah not being able to strike from the free-throw line earlier, the Utes converted on 14-of-18 from the line in the second half to seal the victory.

“Got to come back out and execute on offense as always and then whatever we do defensively we got to much sure we do it well for the entire game,” Levrets said.

The Utes will next compete on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. in their final home game of the season

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