Utah Women’s Basketball Wins Home Opener Over Montana State



University of Utah Utes Women’s Basketball Team Guard Dru Gylten (10) dribbles with the ball during an NCAA Basketball match vs. the South Dakota Coyotes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer

The Utah women’s basketball team defeated the Montana State Bobcats 73-63 at the Huntsman center on Friday night. Utah was lead by Andrea Torres who recorded 11 points and eight rebounds in the contest. Stand out sophomore Brynna Maxwell also put up 11 points but was relatively quiet in the second half.

Torres was great defensively, and the Utes racked up eight blocks on the night. Turnovers were the story of the game as the Utes committed 20 of them against the Bobcats — a stat that head coach Lynne Roberts was not thrilled with.

Despite the turnovers, the Utes continued to rebound well as they recorded 42 rebounds in Friday night’s contest.

Brynna Maxwell saw potential in Utah’s freshman, specifically Peyton McFarland.

“You just see the tip of the iceberg with her, she is going to be so good. You watch her and you think wow she’s just a freshman, but she is a really good player.” Brynna Maxwell said.

Who’s balling?

Utah Players stuffing the stat sheet: Andrea Torres 11 Points, 8 Rebounds, 1 Assist

Torres played exceptionally well in this game. A ferocious athlete with incredible size and great speed. One of her most impressive plays of the night was a crossover dribble drive that just rolled out of the hoop. Torres was a key part of the Utes’ victory.

What Coach Has to Say:

On Montana State

“I have to give Montana state a lot of credit. I thought they competed extremely well tonight.” Lynne Roberts said.

On turnovers

“We got too cute with it,” Roberts said. “The turnovers, that is too many, that is us just trying to do too much. Sometimes when you know you’re playing well you feel like, oh I can be a little bit fancy and you throw a behind-the-back pass, it’s like what are we doing? So we have to clean that stuff up.”

On Peyton McFarland

“I think she can be really good. She did a really nice job today, she’s a big strong athlete, and that’s what we talked about at half time get the ball inside, and we have Lola in there as well, but I think Peyton can be very good, she is just getting started,” Roberts said.

On the defense

“We did ok, I thought we were lethargic in the first half, we let our offense affect our defense in the second quarter, and we gave them some life in the second quarter,” Roberts said. “They [Montana State] just kept coming, tip my hat to them they were fearless and they brought energy and they beat us in that department.”

On the Colorado game coming Monday:

“They are good. It is always a good competitive matchup. They have a really good point guard, and this was a good game for us to learn teams won’t just go away, we have to keep competing.” Roberts said.

10 minute report

First-quarter: The Utes end the first quarter up 21-17. A period in which Utah shot eight three-pointers. Six of the Utes’ first ten shots came from behind the arc. Kemery Martín led the team in scoring with eight points and two rebounds in the first frame. Utah also blocked four shots in the first quarter and out-rebounded the Bobcats 12 to 10. Brynna Maxwell had six points after the first quarter.

Second-quarter: Utah gives up what was at once a nearly ten-point lead and ends the half down two 35-33 Montana State. A half that sees Utah turn the ball over 12 times. Those 12 turnovers paired with a period in which the Utes cooled down from three create the perfect storm for an upset at the Huntsman center.

Collectively, Utah shot 7-16 from three in the first half but only hit two three-pointers in the second quarter. Rebounding turned around in the second as well as the Bobcats out-rebounded Utah 20 to 19 going into halftime. Additionally, Utah added two blocks in the second quarter, to bring the total to six at the half.

The half ended with Martin and Brynna Maxwell as the team’s leading scorers with eight points each. Montana State’s Darian White put up 15 first-half points to lead the Bobcats in scoring. Andrea Torres finished the half with a team-high five rebounds to go along with six points. Freshman Peyton McFarland put up three boards and four points in the first half.

Defense for the Utes was stellar in the first half, holding the Bobcats under 40 percent from the field and from three. Both teams’ transition defense was incredible as each side finished with only two points on the fast break by halftime.

Third-quarter: Turnovers, killer turnovers are the story of the third quarter that ends all tied up at 51. Four more turnovers in the third quarter (16) and 14 points off of those turnovers in the game.

A note on Peyton McFarland: Playing really well and ends the third with six points and four rebounds. The 6’4″ freshman has the look of a WNBA player and in a year will be basically unstoppable in the paint if her development stays on track. She looked very impressive throughout this game, schooling the Bobcats in the paint.

Dru Gylten, no points through three but an incredibly impressive nine assists. Two more blocks for the Utes in the third on an impressive night in that department, racking up eight blocks in the game at that point.

Fourth-quarter: The Utes turnovers kept Montana State in this game. Four more in the fourth quarter to total 20 on the night.

Down the stretch, the Utes won the game in the paint. Lola Pendande ended the night with ten points, most of them coming within the paint. Peyton McFarland ended the game with eight points, of which came within the painted area. Kennady McQueen put the game away with a nasty ball fake on a layup and finished the night with nine points.

Stat of the game:

The Utes finished with eight blocks. In that department, they owned the contest. The team has incredible length and Peyton McFarland came away with one of the biggest blocks of the night, as did Niyah Becker.

What is next?

Utah plays Colorado on Monday at noon. The Buffaloes are 1-3 and coming off a tough upset loss to Denver on Tuesday. Mya Hollingshed is the point guard and someone the Utes will need to watch out for. Coach Roberts mentioned she is averaging 15 points per game this year and is the Buffaloes leading scorer. You can watch the game on the Pac-12 Network or listen to it on ESPN 700.


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