Utah Women’s Basketball Falls to No. 8 UCLA at Home


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 Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


The University of Utah women’s basketball team opened their homestand versus the Southern California teams as they hosted No. 8 UCLA in a Friday morning matinee. The women dropped the game with a score of 58-69. The team moves to 5-12 overall and 4-12 in conference play. This was the second game in a row that Dru Gylten didn’t suit up for the Utes.

The team really couldn’t get much going in the first half but somehow was only trailing by 10 when it came to a close, 25-35. The Utes shot a measly 12-27 (44%) from the floor in the half and were even worse from beyond the arc. Out of the seven 3-pointers that the Utes took, none of them came down. Kemery Martín led the team at the half with seven points in 15 minutes. Lola Pendande led the team with five rebounds in the first half. With their lack of success beyond the arc, the Utes scored 16 of their 25 half points in the paint.

But the second half looked different for the Utes. After UCLA went on a 8-0 run to start the half, Peyton McFarland scored the first points of the half on a pair of free throws. With that, the Utes went on a 10-0 run, cutting the lead to eight at one point. But UCLA was able to come back towards the end of the quarter, extending their lead 50-37.

The team scored 21 points in the final frame of the game, which was the most all game. They only made 46.6% of their shots in the quarter (going 7-15) and only made one of six 3-pointers in the quarter. The Utes were 6-7 from the free throw line in the quarter though.

Brynna Maxwell led the team in scoring with 14. Her usually hot hand from beyond the arc struggled with her only making two of the seven 3-pointers that were taken. She was followed closely by Martín who had 12 points. Pendande had 6 rebounds and McFarland and Andrea Torres had 4 each. McFarland also had two blocks.

Defensively this game was vastly better than the first showing versus the Bruins where the Utes gave up 92 points.

While they still had double digit turnovers (16) they were able to score 14 points off of UCLA’s 11 turnovers. The Bruins were able to make more of the Utah turnovers, scoring 27 points off of them. Twelve of those turnover points came in the first quarter alone. That was the most successful quarter the Bruins had with scoring off of Utah’s misfortunes.

Pendande was the lone Ute who ended the game in the positive. All other Utes were in the negative in the loss.

Michaela Onyenwere led the Bruins with 25 points and four rebounds.

The Utes will close the SoCal homestand on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. MST when they host USC. When the two teams met earlier this season the Utes dropped the game 59-60 in Los Angeles. Sunday’s game will be live streamed on utahutes.com and will be broadcasted on the Home of the Utes ESPN700.

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