Utah Women’s Basketball Limit Turnovers, Get Win Over Cal


University of Utah women’s basketball player, Kemery Martin (#15), brings the ball down the court in the game against Arizona State University in the Jon M. Huntsman center in Salt Lake City on Dec. 18, 2020. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer


The University of Utah Women’s basketball team needed to get a win versus the worst team in the Pac-12, the University of California, and they did just that — beating them 62-51. This is the Utes’ fifth win of the year, which is much needed before a tough matchup with Stanford on Sunday.

The Utes posted one of their best shooting nights of the year against the Golden Bears. The net was wide open for the Utes as they shot 43% from the field and an impressive 45% from beyond the arc. The total three-point number for Utah was 10-22 as Kemery Martín and Brynna Maxwell lead the way, both hitting three three-point attempts.

The Utes were out-rebounded 40-32 by Cal. In the end, this fact didn’t matter because the Utes limited turnovers after a bad seven-turnover first quarter. In total, the Utes only gave the ball away 16 times during the game — which is one of their lowest total turnover numbers of the year.

With turnovers limited after a slow offensive start, the Utes were able to control the game from the second quarter on, possessing a 10-plus point lead most of the way to the finish line.

This was a big win for the Utes as they took care of business against the worst team in the Pac-12. A loss in this game would have been hard to come back from, but the team’s talent showed through. Utah’s huge win against Cal sets them up with good momentum as they prepare to go up against one of the best teams in the country — Stanford — on Sunday.

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Martín led the way with 21 points for the Utes, shooting 8-17 from the field and 3-6 from the three-point range. This performance continues an impressive year for Martín, which head coach Lynne Roberts has praised throughout the year. Martín also posted three assists and one rebound in her impressive performance against the Golden Bears.

10 Minute Report

First-quarter: Halfway through the first quarter, nine points, total, scored between the two teams. Cal at that point lead the game by a score of 6-3. The first quarter ends with a score of 13-13. Utah’s leading scorer was Niyah Becker, who put up 4 points on 2-3 shooting in the first frame of basketball. Martín also scored three points going 1-3 from the field and 1-2 at the free-throw line.

The Utes and Cal each committed seven turnovers in the first quarter — it was a frame of sloppy basketball all around.

Second-quarter: The half ended with the Utes leading by 10, 36-26 at the break.

In the second quarter, Martín led the way with nine points, going 4-7 from the field during the second. Martín also posted two assists including a great pass to Dru Gylten who drained a three, her only points of the quarter.

Andrea Torres scored eight points in the second frame, going 2-2 from three-point range while doing so. Torres once again looked good going downhill, making up the difference of those eight points with a fantastic layup. Torres also picked up two of the team’s 10 rebounds in the second quarter.

The Utes cut back on turnovers in the second — only giving the ball up two times. The Utes also shot a tremendous 71% from three-point range in the second frame, which was a large reason why they held a ten-point lead going into half time.

Third-quarter: The Utes ended the third quarter up 51-39 after Maxwell hit a last-second two-pointer to extend the lead.

Maxwell scored five points in the third and in the process hit a three, going 1-2 from long-distance within the quarter. Gylten also put up an assist within the quarter as well.

The Utes cool down from three and end up shooting 2-5 in the frame. The Utes once again put up a good quarter of ball security, making the right decisions and only turning the ball over three times within the third. The Utes scored a total of 15 points within the third and held onto the lead going into the final segment of the game.

Cal only gets up nine shots within the third and goes 3-9 from the field. The Utes’ defense locks down the Golden Bears in the third.

Fourth-quarter: Utah’s defense holds down the stretch and the Utes win 62-51.

Utah held Cal to 0-7 from the three-point range in the final quarter of the game. The Utes’ ability to close out on shots was impressive down the stretch as Cal resorted to firing prayers down the stretch.

Maxwell drains two threes in the fourth to put the game away.

Stat of the Game

The Utes only turn the ball over nine times in three of the last four quarters of the game. Turnovers have been a huge point of emphasis for Utah’s coaching staff and the Utes were effectively able to eliminate them against Cal down the stretch.

What is Next?

Utah plays Stanford at 2 p.m. on Sunday. You can listen to that game on ESPN 700 and watch on the Pac-12 Networks.


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