Utah Women’s Basketball Makes it Three in a Row

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Utah Women’s Basketball Makes it Three in a Row

University of Utah Utes Women’s Basketball Team Guard Dru Gylten (10) battles to score during an NCAA Basketball match vs. the Eastern Washington Eagles at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah Utes Women’s Basketball Team Guard Dru Gylten (10) battles to score during an NCAA Basketball match vs. the Eastern Washington Eagles at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah Utes Women’s Basketball Team Guard Dru Gylten (10) battles to score during an NCAA Basketball match vs. the Eastern Washington Eagles at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah Utes Women’s Basketball Team Guard Dru Gylten (10) battles to score during an NCAA Basketball match vs. the Eastern Washington Eagles at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Adam Cochran, Sports Writer

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The University of Utah women’s basketball team (3-3, 0-0 Pac-12) went to Hawaii and will return with two more wins after sweeping the Bank of Hawaii Classic. On Friday, the Utes topped Texas Southern (2-3, 0-0 SWAC), 61-52 before handling UTSA (3-3, 0-0 C-USA) 91-45 on Sunday.

 

Texas State

Once again, the Utes were plagued with turnovers against the Tigers, committing a season high 26 turnovers. Despite this, the Utes found a way to hold on to the lead for the majority of the game and win. Utah did this with clean defense. They forced the Tigers into 18 turnovers of their own and held their shooting percentage to under 35%.

“I would rather win ugly than lose pretty,” said head coach Lynne Roberts. “I thought we had a great first 16 minutes, and then the last four minutes of the first half we got were turning it over and we were a little sloppy, and that allowed Texas Southern to gain some confidence with what they were doing defensively.

“Most of the second half we played to not lose instead of trying to win. Again, this is a learning experience. You have to give credit to Texas Southern because that is what they do, they turn people over. We didn’t make smart plays and I didn’t call perfect stuff against it. We are going to move on. It is a win and I’m glad we found a way to grind it out.”

The Utes younger players were impressive once again. Lola Pendande recorded the first double-double of her short Utah career, scoring 14 points and grabbing a game high 12 rebounds. Brynna Maxwell led the Utes in scoring with 15 points. Niyah Becker scored nine points to go with her three steals, and Kiana Moore added seven points. Dru Gylten had a team high five assists for the Utes.

 

UTSA

Against the Roadrunners, it took a little over two minutes for the Utes to take a lead on a bucket from Ola Makurat, a lead the Utes would never relinquish. The Utes dominated every major statistical category in route to their 46-point victory. Defensively, they held UTSA to 27.9% from the field and only eight points in the paint for the game.

“Our goal coming into this was to have a complete game,” Roberts said. “Obviously there are things we need to clean up, but the things that we focused on and the things that we wanted to do, we did them for 40 minutes. We shot the ball well, I thought we passed it really well.”

“Everything that we are trying to get these guys to buy into and improve upon, they are doing. This week we got better. It is starting to come together and you can feel the momentum and the vibe a little more, which is great. I am proud of us and I thought we played great.”

Maxwell led the Utes with a career high 22 points. Becker added 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Pendande scored 12 and Julie Brosseau added 11 points, a season high. Gylten lead the Utes in assists and steals, notching 6 and 4 respectively.

 

Next Up for the Utes

The Utes will put their three game winning streak on the line when they travel to Provo on Friday to take on the BYU Cougars (2-1, 0-0 WCC) at the Marriot Center. The game will tip off at 7 pm and will be broadcast on BYUtv.

 

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