Utah Women’s Basketball Tame Huskies in Huntmans Center

University+of+Utah+women%27s+basketball+player%2C+KENNADY+MCQUEEN+%28%2324%29%2C+plays+defense+in+the+game+against+Montana+State+University+on+Dec.+11%2C+2020+in+the+Jon+M.+Huntsman+Center+in+Salt+Lake+City.+%28Photo+by+Jack+Gambassi+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

University of Utah women’s basketball player, KENNADY MCQUEEN (#24), plays defense in the game against Montana State University on Dec. 11, 2020 in the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Carlos Padilla, Sports Writer

 

The University of Utah women’s basketball team finished an impressive victory over the Washington Huskies in the final game of their homestand. Utah pulled away in the fourth, leaving the final boxscore 84-61. 

The word of the day for Utah would be energy. From the opening tip-off, the Utes appeared scrappy and driven. This game was noticeably physical, with Utah players constantly forcing Washington to make hard buckets and hit the deck more than once. The physicality is also expressed in the foul numbers, with the Utes accruing 18 personal fouls throughout the game. 

The Utes also had their offense clicking, which was led by an inspired performance from Brynna Maxwell. The sophomore out of Gig Harbor High School put on an offensive clinic, ending with 24 of Utah’s 84 points. With 50% shooting from both the field and beyond the arc, combined with 11-12 from the stripe, Maxwell had the hottest hands on the hardwood. 

Head coach Lynn Roberts appeared impressed by Maxwell’s performance in a comment to Utah athletics. 

Brynna really got herself going and that was fun to see. It was uncharacteristic of her to not score a basket in the first half, but I thought defensively she was doing great, so you just kind of assume the next one is in with her. When she gets going like that it is really fun to watch. She has such a quick release and when she is feeling it like that we are pretty confident that she is going to make shots,” Roberts said. 

Maxwell was assisted by Lola Pendande and Dru Glyten, both scoring 10 points. Andre Torres led her team in rebounds, ripping down nine boards to accompany her five points. 

The complete nature of today’s game was crucial to helping the Utes end their four-game losing streak. 

I told the team after the game when we huddled up that we just need to celebrate the victories and celebrate the wins,” Roberts said. “Whether it is an actual win against an opponent or a win in another way because this has been a really challenging year for everybody. We have to find the sunlight and celebrate it. It felt good to win, to win convincingly and just get some confidence back.”

While the Utes were scorching hot on the offensive side of the ball, they also buckled down on defense. Utah forced 16 turnovers from the Huskies, allowing for their offense to catch fire. 

While a solid victory, Utah must crack the code on limiting their turnovers. With 17 going against the Utes, the point swing could have gone in a much different direction. However, overall, the Utes put together a solid game on both sides of the ball. 

With their win, Utah improves itself to 3-5, 2-5 against their high powered Pac-12 opponents. The Utes will have a chance to break even as they go against USC this Friday, followed by UCLA on Sunday, both in the golden state. 

While the homestand did not go as planned, this victory over Washington could truly be a turning point for this young Utah team. Should the same energy and intensity be present the rest of the season, Utah will be a problem for anyone they tip-off against. 

 

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