The University of Utah women’s basketball team (12-11, 5-7 Pac-12) returns home this weekend looking to extend a two-game winning streak.
The Utes are back in action on Valentine’s Day to face No. 8 Stanford (21-3, 10-2 Pac-12) and then California (9-14, 1-11 Pac-12) on Sunday. They are coming off consecutive convincing road wins at Washington (11-12, 3-9 Pac-12) and Washington State (11-13, 4-8 Pac-12). The Utes are playing well at the moment and they hope that continues into this weekend.
Stanford is a very good team, and the Utes just saw them recently. They lost 49-82 on Jan. 26. This time they will be playing the Cardinal at home. The Utes are 1-19 against Stanford all-time, with the lone win coming last season at home, so there is a chance they can replicate some magic here this Friday. Stanford took a loss to No. 7 UCLA (21-2, 10-2 Pac-12) just last week before beating USC (12-11, 4-8 Pac-12). They are looking to maintain their Top 10 spot and will surely be a tough out, but if Utah can play the way they did last weekend, they can hang with anybody.
“I was proud of the way we came out and defensively, we really set the tone,” said coach Lynne Roberts to Utah Athletics. “We played with some confidence and the ball was moving. It was just a really good road win. Washington State is good.”
Freshman phenom Brynna Maxwell was named the conference Freshman of the Week after a stellar performance in her home state. Maxwell averaged 19 points and 5.5 rebounds while in Washington. She was perfect from the free-throw line and also knocked down six 3-pointers in the weekend sweep.
If the Utes can replicate some of those things from the win over the Cougars, they’re in good shape.
They will then see Cal come to town for a matchup on Sunday. The Golden Bears have struggled this season, with their only win in the conference coming in OT versus Washington. The Utes beat them earlier this year 71-62. Utah has also won four of the last five against Cal. This is certainly an easier game than Stanford, but the Utes can’t afford to play sloppily. It’s hard to win in the Pac-12 and they know that. Look for the Utes to play hard in this one as the season begins to wind down and they position themselves for seeding in the Pac-12 tournament.
The game against Stanford is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game against Cal is scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m.