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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Utah Women’s Basketball Rallies Back in Win Over Oregon

After a largely successful run in the Pacific Northwest, the Lady Utes returned home to for a split weekend against Oregon and Oregon State.
Mary Allen
Utah guard Matyson Wilke (23) plays in the game versus the Oregon Ducks at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. (Photo by Mary Allen | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

No. 20 University of Utah women’s basketball team returned home this weekend after four straight games in the Pacific Northwest. They fell to the No. 17 Oregon State Beavers on Friday night, but rebounded with a dominant victory over the Oregon Ducks on Sunday afternoon.

Oregon State

The Utes had a rough night on Friday against Oregon State, a team that got the best of them a couple of weeks back up in Corvallis. The Utes played a solid game defensively, but couldn’t get the offense going. Oregon State’s size advantage shut off the paint for a lot of the game, and Utah had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night. The Utes shot just 16-57 from the field and 6-33 from three, 28.1% and 18.2% respectively. Kennady McQueen shot a nice 4-8 on 3-pointers, but the rest of the team combined made just 2 of 25 attempts.

It was a tight game for the majority of the first half. The Beavers scored first, but Utah responded with a three from Alissa Pili and a basket from Jenna Johnson, who surpassed 1,000 career points over the weekend. It was a slugfest throughout the quarter, as both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm. The Beavers held a slim 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

It was a similar story in the second quarter. The Beavers scored first, but the Utes again rallied off five in a row. Pili assisted a Maty Wilke 3-pointer and then scored herself on the next possession. This was half of the field goals Utah would get in the second quarter, however. A pair of threes from McQueen were the only shots that went in, the second of which made it a 23-22 Beavers lead with just under three minutes remaining. The end of the first half is when Oregon State began to take control, as they scored seven in a row and went into the locker room up 30-22. The Utes never really recovered from this run at the end of the half.

Oregon State extended their lead to 34-22 early in the second half, and Utah never got within single digits again. Oregon State’s defense stuffed anything the Utes tried to do, doing just enough offensively to keep Utah out of reach. The Beavers shot 23 for 56 from the field, including an efficient 7 for 17 from three. Utah only scored 22 second-half points and ended up taking a 58-44 loss to the Beavers.

McQueen played a solid game, leading the way for the Utes with 14 points. Pili scored 12 but on low efficiency. Johnson also worked the glass with 10 rebounds and made 3 of her 5 shots.


The Utes responded with a much better performance against Oregon on Sunday. After Inês Vieira rebounded a miss from Pili at the start, the ball eventually found its way to Johnson, who banked in a three to open the scoring. Oregon then scored six unanswered points, but Johnson stopped the run with a basket. Pili then fired a pass to an open Wilke in the corner, who drained the wide open three to make it 8-6 Utes. The Utes finished off the quarter with three more 3-pointers from Johnson, McQueen and Isabel Palmer. Utah went into the second quarter with a 19-12 lead. Johnson was red hot, scoring 10 points in the first quarter alone.

It was a struggle to begin the second, as Utah didn’t score until almost halfway through the period. The Utes defense balanced this out, however, as the Ducks only scored three points in this stretch. This kept the Utes in front until the offense got going, which it did. The Utes scored seven points in right around a minute of action, stretching the lead to 26-15. Johnson continued her tremendous game, adding six more points in the second quarter. The Utes grabbed control of the game towards the end of the first half, leading 35-23 at the break.

However, the Ducks fought back in the third quarter. They cut the lead all the way down to 41-37 at the four minute mark, but the Utes responded. Pili hit a couple of shots to build the lead back, and Wilke finished off the quarter with two 3-pointers. The Utes finished the quarter on an 11-4 run, leading 52-41 heading into the fourth.

It was all Utah the rest of the way. Lani White opened the fourth quarter with a three, the start of a 9-1 run to begin the fourth. White made an incredible play to finish this run, soaring up in the air to steal an Oregon pass and taking it all the way to the hoop for a fastbreak layup. A few moments later, a three from Pili hit the front of the rim, flew up, and fell straight through the hoop, making it 66-44. That’s when the game truly felt over, and the Utes went on to win by a 70-48 score.

Johnson and Wilke led the charge for the Utes. Johnson finished with 20 points and five rebounds on a very efficient 9 for 13 shooting. Wilke scored 17 points with five 3-pointers, and Pili added 16 points. Vieira racked up 10 assists to join them in double figures.

The Utes currently sit at sixth in the Pac-12 standings with a few weeks left in the regular season. The rest of the road does not get easier, as they host No. 4 Colorado at the Huntsman Center this Friday night. After that, they’ll head to Los Angeles to face No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 USC.


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About the Contributors
Isaac Dunaway
Isaac Dunaway, Sports Writer
Isaac Dunaway is a sports writer for The Daily Utah Chronicle. He started this position in October 2021. He is a sophomore at the University of Utah studying communication with an emphasis in journalism. He is also a proud member of the University of Utah Marching Band. He is a native of Salt Lake City.
Mary Allen
Mary Allen, Design Director
(she/her) Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Mary is thrilled to be here at the University of Utah studying graphic design. She feels very lucky to get to rub shoulders with the talented people that make up the team here at the Chronicle and is learning a lot from them every day. Other than making things look cute, Mary’s passions include music, pickleball, Diet Coke, wildlife protection, and the Boston Red Sox.
Sarah Karr
Sarah Karr, Photographer
Sarah Karr was born and raised in Springfield, Oregon, and is attending the University of Utah with a major is communication and a minor in digital photography. Sarah is working with the Chronicle to improve her photojournalism skills and gain some experience in the newsroom. In her free time, Sarah likes to play online games, read and tend to her plants.

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