Women’s Basketball: Utes Crush Carroll College, 46-70

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Women’s Basketball: Utes Crush Carroll College, 46-70

Daneesha Provo (23) guards Mikaela Dowdy (20) in the Utah Utes Women's basketball victory game over Carroll College at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

(Photo by Cassandra Palor/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

Daneesha Provo (23) guards Mikaela Dowdy (20) in the Utah Utes Women's basketball victory game over Carroll College at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, November 2, 2017. (Photo by Cassandra Palor/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

Daneesha Provo (23) guards Mikaela Dowdy (20) in the Utah Utes Women's basketball victory game over Carroll College at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, November 2, 2017. (Photo by Cassandra Palor/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

Daneesha Provo (23) guards Mikaela Dowdy (20) in the Utah Utes Women's basketball victory game over Carroll College at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, November 2, 2017. (Photo by Cassandra Palor/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Juan Jose

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An underwhelming fourth quarter finish dampened what was otherwise a strong outing for the University of Utah women’s basketball team as it won Carroll College, 46-70 on Thursday. The Utes’ victory showed a closer win than most of the game indicated. The exhibition game showcased Utah’s potential, but it also showed that there are improvements to make.

Sluggish play led to an early turnover by Utah before a three pointer was allowed on the defensive side of the ball. Three minutes into the first quarter, Utah found itself down 5-2.

“I thought there was some good and some bad. That’s kind of what the point of these are, to play in front of the crowd for the first time and work on some stuff,” said head coach Lynne Roberts. “I thought we had a good 2 1/2 quarters and then the last quarter and a half, we just kind of died intensity wise. We lacked a little bit of discipline.”

Utah finished the first half with back-to-back 20 plus point quarters as it scored 21 and 24 points while allowing its opponent to only rack up 19 first half points. Utah nearly matched Carroll College’s 26 total rebounds, with 24 defensive rebounds in the game. Leading the way with an overwhelming presence in the paint was Emily Potter and Megan Huff, with 12 and 8 total rebounds respectively. Huff also added 3 blocks.

Huff did more than just defend for the Utes, as she put up 20 points on 8-15 shooting from the floor in her first game as a starter. She finished 4-4 from the free throw line, and she turned the ball over one time over the span of 31 minutes.

“Megan Huff was really good. She got really tired there at the end,” Roberts said. “We got a little fatigued and she kind of gassed out, but she’s a talent, she’s really good. She can score and she’s athletic. She can really move well. She’s fluid.”

The Utes ended the second half with one more total point than they were able to score in the second quarter alone. Utah’s defensive identity never allowed Carroll College to form a serious comeback bid. Although the Utes turned the ball over 17 times, they also demonstrated team chemistry with a strong passing game.

Starting returning guard Erika Bean dished out a team leading five assists while adding six points and three assists to her stat line. With the strong play of returners such as Kiana Moore, who had 10 points, and the aforementioned Huff, Utah has the potential to see positive results as a team this season.

“You know if we’re gonna beat good teams in the Pac-12, discipline is paramount and you have to do it,” Roberts said. “You learn these lessons now when it doesn’t count versus learning it when it does count.”

Utah will next take on Nevada at home on Friday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

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