Utah Women’s Basketball Comes Up Cold in Golden State

University+of+Utah+women%27s+basketball+player%2C+Dru+Gylten+%28%2310%29%2C+prepares+an+offensive+play+in+the+game+against+the+University+of+Arizona+in+the+Jon+M.+Huntsman+center+in+Salt+Lake+City+on+Dec.+20%2C+2020.+%28Photo+by+Jack+Gambassi+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

University of Utah women’s basketball player, Dru Gylten (#10), prepares an offensive play in the game against the University of Arizona in the Jon M. Huntsman center in Salt Lake City on Dec. 20, 2020. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Carlos Padilla, Sports Writer

 

The University of Utah women’s basketball team faced a tough weekend in California as they came up short against both USC and UCLA.

Starting on Friday, Utah experienced a 60-59 heartbreaker against the Trojans. A story of two halves, Utah held the lead for over 24 minutes. Utah had the hot hands, shooting an impressive 45% from the field and 43% from downtown.

After a last-minute three by Andrea Torres, the Utes were able to walk into the locker room, up 37-36 at halftime.

However, the Utes failed to find the bottom of the net for the rest of the game, only shooting 25% from the field. The lack of offense, combined with several key turnovers, allowed the Trojans to take the lead.

Even as the clock ticked down, Utah would not go down without a fight. With only two ticks on the clock, Utah had a final shot but could not get it to drop.

While the game did not end in Utah’s favor, one could not say that Utah did not leave it all on the court. Brynna Maxwell, the sophomore shooting machine, had another strong game putting up 20 points. Dru Glyten also had a good offensive night, boasting 15 points of her own.

While Utah kept it close with USC, they were not so fortunate in Sunday’s matchup against No. 9 UCLA.
Utah found themselves in trouble almost immediately as the Bruins were scorching the nets. UCLA found themselves shooting 76% from the field and 66% from downtown. Utah was held to only four total made shots in the first quarter.

Even after finding a bit of rhythm in the second quarter, Utah could not slow down UCLA. The Utes would head into the locker room, down 52-28.

Determined not to go quietly, Utah came out of the locker determined, going on a 6-0 run to begin the third quarter. Utah would end up outscoring the Bruins in the third, by a margin of 18-16.

Even after coming out strong in the third and shooting a respectable 57% in the fourth, Utah did not have enough in the tank to overcome the hole they had fallen into. UCLA decided to show the Utes a taste of top 10 play, finishing with a convincing 92-67 victory.

Utah was led in scoring against UCLA by sophomore Kemery Martin, who had an impressive fourth quarter and ended with 13 points. Glyten matched Martin’s total to tie for lead scorer. Maxwell was noticeably quiet, with only 7 points.

While continuously improving, Utah continues to struggle with turnovers. UCLA, in particular, was able to capitalize on Utah’s loose play with the ball. Until the squad can come together and tighten their passing and ball control, the hard knocks will continue.

While the trip out west did not go in Utah’s favor, there is no rest for the weary. Utah will come home to the Huntsman Center to welcome the high-powered Stanford Cardinal on Friday and the California Golden Bears on Sunday.

Both challenging opponents, Utah is continuously in the hunt for conference wins. Utah will be looking to Maxwell and Glyten for an offensive spark, as well as Lola Pendande and Torres to keep ripping down boards.

While never one to throw in the towel, this season is shaping out to be a bumpy ride. Hopefully, a two-game stand on the home court will allow Utah to right its ship.

 

[email protected]

@CPadilla67