Weekend Recap: Women’s Basketball Drops Back to Back in Washington


University of Utah freshman guard Kennady McQueen in a game versus the USC Trojans on February 14, 2021 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer


This was not a good weekend for the University of Utah women’s basketball team. The trip saw the Utes lose to both bottom feeder Washington and mid-table player Washington State.

Turnovers continued to be a problem for the Utes, but bright spots emerged as well. Here are some takeaways from each game from their final roadtrip of the season.

Takeaways from Washington, 78-61

  1. Utah had one of their better days shooting the basketball. The Utes shot 38% from the three-point line and 36% from the field. Freshman Kennady McQueen shot very well going 4-7 from the field and posting 10 points on the day. Andrea Torres shot 3-6 and put up eight points on the day. The Utes got hot in the third quarter, shooting 3-6 from three in that frame.
  2. McQueen has had a very average freshman season, but there are some very promising signs about her future. For one, she is an excellent ball-handler — some of the best dribble moves of the year for the Utes have come from her. Confidence is a key part of basketball and the freshman has that. She has looked more and more confident as the season has progressed. The next step forward, of course, will have to be consistency. But, with Dru Gylten out for the year, McQueen has gotten more and more opportunities down the stretch, and she is taking advantage of them. McQueen’s shooting has always been a strong part of her game — her stroke is clean and she does an excellent job of getting good and effective shots.
  3. Washington’s offense was unstoppable on Friday. The Huskies shot 41% from the field and 50% from three, and when those numbers get put up by an opponent — it’s going to be hard to win. Haley Van Dyke led the way with 22 points for the Huskies.

Takeaways from Washington State, 68-55

  1. The Leger-Walker sisters, Charlisse and Krystal, are both very good players. Charlisse took her turn on Sunday, carving up the Utes defense and posting 22 points and six rebounds while her sister posted an incredible 11 assists. In both games this year, the Leger-Walkers were major problems for the Utes, who seemed to have no answers for them. The Utes defense was a problem in general on Sunday — forcing stops but then turning the ball over, which then lead to defending back-to-back-to-back possessions without offensive results. That will wear down any basketball-playing outfit.
  2. Turnovers were once again an issue for the Utes, who gave the ball up 18 times. Washington State didn’t let the moment slip, scoring a total of 25 points off of turnovers. It was a tough day at the office for the Utes, but that could be said of every game the Utes have played this year when it comes to turnovers. If you have read these articles over the past two months, that’s the common trend — too many turnovers are holding a young team back from being competitive. For all intents and purposes, this was a blowout against the Utes, down 20 at halftime, and they were never again truly able to get into the game offensively.
  3. The Utes featured two new posts in Sunday’s game. It was a new look as Kelsey Rees and Peyton McFarland saw most of the floor time for the Utes as a paint tandem. It was the first time the Utes had shown that pair during the season, and they had positive results for the Utes as they only allowed 22 points in the paint. They also registered three blocks, and the two of them also dropped points for the Utes — McFarland had 14 on the night and Rees had 10 points.
  4. Bonus point: McQueen looked really good again. She put up seven points and shot the ball really well. As the Utes look forward to next year, it is safe to say you can expect to see a lot more of McQueen. But, she will have to compete with Gylten, Brynna Maxwell and Kemery Martín. McQueen could create a prominent role on the squad as an effective sixth woman scorer.

The Utes will finish the season against Colorado at the John M. Huntsman Center on Sunday, Feb. 28 at noon. You can listen to the game on ESPN 700 and watch on the Pac-12 Network.


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