Women’s Basketball: Potter records career-highs to remain undefeated at home in 74-58 win

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Sophomore Tanaeya Boclair (32) drives against the Fort Louis defense in an exhibition game at the Huntsman center on 6 Nov 2015.

Following a sour first quarter in which Utah allowed the Bluejays to shoot over 50 percent from the field and put together a 10-point lead, Utah came out in the second quarter with a tenacity they would carry through the entirety of the game, leading the Utes to a 74-58 win over Creighton on Thursday.

“We just settled down a little bit and got back to the game plan. That’s what I told them at halftime, to trust the system,” said Utah head coach Lynne Roberts of her team’s adjustments following the first quarter.

As Creighton landed the first punch against Utah in the first quarter, shooting 8-for-15 from the field and holding Utah to a brick-laden 5-of-17, Utah flipped the tables on the Bluejays in the second period, mirroring their performance. Utah held Creighton to a similar 5-for-17 in the second period and improved its own shooting on the way.

“We were not very good at all,” Roberts said of the play early on. “Just forcing stuff, and we just were not in any sort of rhythm.”

Utah would go on to outscore the Bluejays 64-38 through the final three quarters.

Sophomore Emily Potter goes to the hoop against Fort Louis in an exhibition game at the Huntsman center on 6 Nov 2015.
Sophomore Emily Potter goes to the hoop against Fort Louis in an exhibition game at the Huntsman center on 6 Nov 2015.

Utah was led all night by dominant play from Emily Potter in the post. Potter posted career-highs in points and rebounds with 28 and 19, respectively. Potter also tied a career-high with three assists.

“I did not know that that was my stat line,” Potter said. “I just credit my teammates for passing me the ball and letting me take 20 shots.”

Senior point guard Dani Rodriguez was complimentary, especially of Potter’s passing and vision out of the double-team against Creighton.

“It opens up a lot,” Rodriguez said. “Creighton started doubling her, and that leaves shooters on the backside open, that leaves cuts to the basket open. Teams are going to have a hard time guarding her one-on-one.”

Potter’s 19 rebounds was just two boards shy of tying a Utah record for rebounds in a game set by Ellen Perrella against Weber State in 1981.

“Its so nice to have a player that you can just count on to get boards,” Roberts said. “She’s got great length and a great feel for the game.”

Wednesday’s win against the Bluejays snaps a four-game losing skid against Creighton, dating back all the way to 1991, and moves Utah to 6-0 in the Huntsman Center on the season.

Sophomore Emily Potter (12) scores against Fort Louis in an exhibition game at the Huntsman center on 6 Nov 2015.
Sophomore Emily Potter (12) scores against Fort Louis in an exhibition game at the Huntsman center on 6 Nov 2015.

“Its a lot of pride,” Rodriguez said. “When you walk into a team’s gym and you know they’re undefeated on their floor, it gives you kind of an uneasy feeling because I’ve been [there]. I think that really plays to our advantage. To teams coming in, I think it gets in their heads a little bit.”

As Utah closes the book on this one, it will look forward to BYU this Saturday in Provo. Saturday’s matchup will mark Roberts’ first time coaching in the Holy War.

“At Pacific, they were in our conference, so I’m familiar with them. I’ve certainly never been in the rivalry game, but I’m very much one game at a time,” Roberts said.

While the head coach may not be familiar with this matchup in terms of the rivalry, Utah stars Rodriguez and Potter certainly are.

“Its intense,” Potter said. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year. People say it’s just another game, but to me its not. I want to beat them.”

“Its always a great matchup,” Rodriguez added. “I’m not going to lie and say I don’t approach [this game] differently, because I do. When you’re rivals, there’s a lot on the line, for me personally.”

Utah will tip off against BYU in the Marriott Center this Saturday at 2 p.m. MST.

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