Utah Women’s Basketball Releases Non-Conference Schedule


Jack Gambassi

University of Utah women’s basketball player, Dru Gylten (#10), is helped up by teammates, Andrea Torres (#3), Brynna Maxwell (#11), Peyton McFarland (#42), and Kemery Martin (#15), 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’s women’s basketball team has announced their non-conference schedule. After the Utes played an abridged version of the non-conference schedule last year, this year they will play a full non-conference schedule. It will open on Oct. 29 against Westminster at the Jon M. Huntsman center.

You can find the full schedule thus far here.

The Utes will play nine non-conference games in total and will also play in the Hawaii preseason tournament. That tournament will feature games against Gonzaga, Hawaii and Eastern Illinois.

Head coach Lynne Roberts is excited about the prospect of playing a full non-conference schedule; she says she values it much more now that she’s seen what can happen to a program without time to gel early in the season.

“Not getting a non-conference schedule last year because of COVID certainly makes me appreciate having one this year. The Pac-12 is the best women’s basketball conference in the nation. Our non-conference schedule is going to be a great opportunity for us to compete against some fantastic teams while still improving, sorting out our team’s identity, and gaining some momentum,” said Roberts.

She also added that the Utes are excited to get the non-conference schedule underway. Junior point guard Brynna Maxwell shares that enthusiasm.

“It’s a great way to introduce college basketball to newcomers and transfers. It’s a great way for our team to find out our dynamic and what our identity is,” said Maxwell.

Maxwell said that team chemistry suffered last year because of the lack of a non-conference schedule.

That said, the Utes certainly aren’t looking past non-conference opponents. Maxwell acknowledged that BYU, Oklahoma and Gonzaga were some of her most looked forward to games because of the challenges they present.

Maxwell is from Gig Harbor, Washington; four hours and 45 minutes away sits Gonzaga’s campus. Maxwell is excited for that game because her grandma only lives a short distance away from Gonzaga, though the game will be played in Hawaii. Maxwell does admit the fact that she’s looking forward to her trip to the islands.

“Who doesn’t want to play basketball in Hawaii?” said Maxwell.

Two of Utah’s biggest non-conference games come in December. On Dec. 4, the Utes will face in-state rival BYU. The Cougars were participants in the NCAA Women’s Tournament last year. The Cougars were knocked out in the second round.

The Utes will also face tournament team Utah Valley University on Dec. 18 and Power Five foe Oklahoma in Norman on Dec. 21. Utah has not played Oklahoma since 2015.

Utah will have a stint against two Cincinnati-based teams in the non-conference slate as well: Nov. 13 against Xavier, and then again on Nov. 19 against Cincinnati.

Utah will have the advantage of staying home most of the non-conference schedule, outside of the trip to Hawaii and the one standalone away game against Oklahoma. Hopefully that home stand will contribute to the Utes’ confidence as fans return to the Jon M. Huntsman Center this fall.

The added preseason games will help Utah return to its natural flow. The fact the Utes were limited in the games they got to play leading up to the season last year contributed to a disappointing season for the Utes.

The hope for Coach Roberts’ team is to learn from these pre-Pac-12 games and take the lessons into conference play in what again will be one of the most competitive women’s basketball conferences in the nation.


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