Utah Women’s Basketball Rebounds To Split In Oregon: Knock Off No. 15 Oregon State.


University of Utah freshman forward Lola Pendande (12) during game against the Arizona State University’s Sun Devils at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, Feburary 22, 2020. (Photo by Kenny Taboada | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer


After being embarrassed by the Oregon Ducks by 30+ points on Sunday, the University of Utah women’s basketball team responded and knocked off the No. 15 team in the nation in Oregon State in Corvallis Oregon 85-79. Brynna Maxwell leads the way, posting an insane 34 points, 30 of those coming in the second half.

The win marks the first of the Utes season as they get a split to open the season in the northwest. The win delivered on the promise of head coach Lynne Roberts, who has said throughout this offseason that this is the deepest team she has ever had at Utah. Five Utah players scored over five points in the win against the Beavers.

Over the course of the off-season, coach Roberts said the goal was to win some games the Utes were not projected to win this year. This would certainly be considered one of those wins. It puts Utah, if they win Friday, in serious consideration to be ranked when the next AP poll comes out next Monday.

Kennady McQueen, a freshman, also had an impressive day.

“She can really shoot it,” Roberts said of McQueen at a press conference in October.

That certainly seems to be the case. McQueen finished with nine points but shot three of four from three-point range.

A relative surprise, Kemery Martín, a sophomore from Sandy, Utah was a big part of the Utes game plan tonight. Martin dropped 15 points, going 6-15 from the field and shooting a perfect 2-2 at the free-throw line.

Whose balling?

Utah Players stuffing the stat sheet: Brynna Maxwell (34 points, 6 rebounds)

Maxwell shot a blistering 10-15 from the field and made key free throws down the stretch when it counted. Going a perfect 10-10 from the line.

What Coach has to say:

“That was fun and the players are so excited. I am more proud than excited, though. To bounce back after Sunday, coming off a two-week quarantine while opening the season with one of the hardest road trips in the Pac-12, I am just so proud of this team. The ability to flip the switch like that and bounce back, and trust what we are saying as coaches – that is as good as it gets.” Roberts said post-game.

Roberts also commented on the strategy of putting Brynna Maxwell on the line down the stretch.

“I wanted her shooting those free throws, that was by design. Her stepping to the free-throw line, I’m never thinking anything other than when those go in. I have zero doubts and know she is going to make those free throws in those situations,” Roberts said.

10 minute report

First-quarter: First quarter ends 24-20 Oregon State. The Utes were down 11-2 early but quickly clawed back. Maxwell and McQueen both shot lights out from the field and finished a combined 5-5 with 6 points, each going into the second. The Utes shot 42 percent from the field in the first quarter.

Second-quarter: The Utes headed into half time up 35-33 off a Martin three. Martin finished the half tied as Utah’s leading scorer with McQueen; both had nine points in the half. Dru Gylten had a big second quarter putting up five points on a three-pointer and two free throws. Gylten also saw the court well in the first half, putting up four assists. At half the Utes were shooting 33 percent from the field compared to Oregon State’s 48 percent.

The Utes outrebounded the Beavers 21-16 in the first half. Niyah Becker led the team with seven rebounds. The Utes forced turnovers as well in the first half as well, stealing the ball from Oregon an impressive 9 times. The Utes trailed for most of the first half, but took the lead going into halftime. The Utes comeback at the end of the first half came off an outrageous amount of three-pointers. Utah shot the ball from deep 15 times in the half, making five of them.

The Utes defended well in the first half but struggled on several pick and roll plays.

Third-quarter: Maxwell entered the half with four points, she finished the third quarter with 16 points in that time frame alone. That is three points more than her season average last year (13.5). Simply put, Maxwell was En Fuego, which means on fire in the third. Niyah Becker assisted on two of those buckets. Going into the fourth the score was 59-53.

Fourth-quarter: Utah lost the lead in the middle of the fourth but quickly regained it. The most impressive part of the Utes fourth quarter, free throws. The Utes went to the line 11 times and made 10 of their free throws. Maxwell nailed seven of seven and forward Lola Pendande rebounded from a miss in the first half by nailing three of her four shots in the fourth. Turnovers killed the Beavers down the stretch. By my count, three of five second-half turnovers occurred within the last ten-minute quarter of the game.

Stat of the game:

The Utes posted 14 steals in this game. Meanwhile, the Beavers turned over the ball an astounding 20 times. Utah wasn’t much better though as they turned over the ball 17 times in this game.

What is next?

The Utes play Montana State on Friday, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Bobcats are 1-0 coming off a win over North Dakota. You can listen to the game on ESPN 700 or watch via live stream on utahutes.com.


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