Utes Set to Host Westminster in Exhibition to Tip-off Season


The University of Utah Lady Utes cheer on the sidlines at the Brigham Young University game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturaday, Dec. 8, 2018 (Photo by Cassandra Palor | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Adam Cochran, Sports Writer

The University of Utah Women’s Basketball team will host an exhibition game on Thursday, October 31, 2019, against the Westminster Griffins. The game will mark the unofficial beginning of the 2019-20 season for the Utes. After finishing sixth in the Pac-12 last year, the Utes were picked seventh in the preseason media poll at Pac-12 Media Day.

Last season, the Utes got off to a hot start before injuries took a major toll on the team. By the end of the season, head coach Lynne Roberts elected not to participate in the WNIT tournament because the Utes were down seven active players on the roster. Many players return from injury for the Utes or have gained eligibility after transferring to Utah and sitting out a season based on NCAA transfer rules. One player, Daneesha Provo, was granted an extra year of eligibility based on last season, when she was injured 13 games into the season, and her freshman year at Clemson, when she withdrew midseason for personal reasons.


Key Returning Players for the Utes

Provo was the Utes second leading scorer by field goal percentage last season. In doing so she averaged 13.5 points while adding 2.1 steals, 2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game for the Utes last season. Provo also provides the Utes an experienced and efficient 3-point shooter. Last year before her injury she averaged 1.8 3-pointers made per game, while shooting 38.7 % from beyond the arc. This experience and scoring prowess will be invaluable for the Utes who are replacing two of their top three scorers from a year ago.

The Utes also return many players who played significant roles for the Utes last season. Sophomore Dru Gylten, senior Kiana Moore, sophomore Andrea Torres and Provo all started games last season for Utah. Gylten, a point guard who started all 30 games for the Utes, was a Pac-12 All-Freshman first team selection last season. She bolstered the Utes with an impressive 5.5 assists per game, good enough for fourth in the Pac-12 and top 30 nationally in assists per game. Gylten also added 8.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest.

Moore stepped into the starting lineup following Provo’s injury, starting the remaining 17 games and thriving in Pac-12 play. She received honorable mention on the Pac-12 All-Defense team. Moore is also the top returning 3-point shooter for the Utes, shooting an impressive 39.8 percent. She averaged 9.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game last season.

Torres played in every game and started the last four games of last season for the Utes. She averaged 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game last season. Niyah Becker also played in every game of her freshman season last year. Becker averaged 3.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.5 assists last season. Maurane Corbin will also be back for the Utes this season. Corbin did not play last year due to injuries, but played 31 games for the Utes in 2017-2018. The 6’5” forward averaged 1.5 points and 2.0 rebounds as a freshman that season in 8.8 minutes per game.



Two Utes are ready to play after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Julie Brosseau and Ola Makurat are ready to suit up for the Utes and leave their stamp on the program. Brosseau, a junior, transferred in from the University of Maine. The 5’9” guard averaged 11.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in her last season with the Black Bears and was their leading 3-point shooter. She adds some experienced scoring to the Ute backcourt. Makurat, another junior, transferred to Utah from Liberty University, where the Poland native averaged 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game her sophomore season. The 6’3” forward is also a talented shooter. She shoots over 80 percent from the free-throw line for her career.

Other newcomers include Kemery Martín, a five-star recruit out of Corner Canyon High School and reigning Utah Ms. Basketball, Brynna Maxwell, a four start recruit and Washington’s 3A State Player of the Year, Lola Pendande, a player with a lot of experience playing for the Spanish National Teams, and Aubri Noti, a junior college transfer, coming from Iowa Western Community College. Noti was one of the national leaders in defensive rebounds and earned First Team All-Region honors last season.


Game Information

The exhibition game is set to tip off at 11 a.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Utes posted an impressive 13-3 record in the Huntsman Center a year ago. Last time the Utes faced the Griffins was in their exhibition game last year when they scored 118 points in a 118-80 win. Admission to the game is free to everyone.


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