Women's Basketball Opens Season vs. SUU November 25
The University of Utah women's basketball program is set to officially start the 2020-21 season with the first of its two non-conference games, taking on Southern Utah on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The game against the Thunderbirds is set to tip off at 2 p.m. MT.
HOW TO TUNE IN
Utah's game against Southern Utah will be live streamed on UtahUtes.com. Fans can also tune in on ESPN 700 and listen to play-by-play announcer Tyson Ewing call the shots.
HOME SWEET HUNTSMAN
The Utah Women's Basketball program has an 81-percent winning percentage when playing in Salt Lake City, holding an all-time record of 506-117. The Utes have nine seasons without a loss at the Jon M. Huntsman Center, also posting a 28-game home winning streak that lasted from Jan. 12, 1995 to Feb. 8, 1997.
• Utah returns eight letter winners, four starters and 77-percent of its scoring from the 2019-20 season.
• Utah brought in the No. 20-ranked recruiting class by ESPN in freshmen Kennady McQueen (four-star, Top 100 recruit), Peyton McFarland (four-star, Top 100 recruit) and Donna Ntambue (Top 15 recruit in Canada), adding 6-5 Aussie Kelsey Rees in April.
• The Utes bring size to the court this season, averaging out at 6-1 between the 14 players on the roster. Ten of Utah's 14 squad members are 6-0 or taller.
The Utes will play their second and final non-conference game on Saturday, Nov. 28 when they host the Utah Valley Wolverines at 2 p.m. MT. The last time the two teams met was in 2018 when the Utes came away with an 85-47 victory in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
STAY HOME, STAY ENGAGED
Per the Pac-12's COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, fans will not be allowed at games to begin the season with the decision being revisited based upon health and safety considerations in January 2021. Despite not being in the arena, there are several ways to stay up-to-date and engaged in the game. Fans can follow the Utes on Twitter (@UtahWBB) and Instagram (@UtahWBB) along with catching interesting and informative stories on UtahUtes.com.
Utah is 33-13 all-time in season openers since the program began in 1974-75. The Utes are also 4-1 in season openers under the direction of Lynne Roberts.
• Utah has won nine of its last 10 season openers, including winning nine straight from Nov. 12, 2010 to Nov. 7, 2018.
• Utah is 3-0 in season openers at home with Roberts at the helm. This is Utah's first season opener at home since the 2017-18 season when the Utes beat Nevada 87-61.
• This is Utah's latest season opener since 1994 when the Utes opened the season on Nov. 29, 1994 against Southern Utah. The Utes came away with a 64-57 victory against the Thunderbirds in Cedar City.
• Utah's game against Southern Utah is the third time the two teams have met in season openers with Utah winning both (1994, won 64-57 on the road; 2011, won 74-60 at home).
Utah received some preseason recognition in the form of Preseason All-Pac-12 and a pair of national watch lists.
• Brynna Maxwell was named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 first team with Dru Gylten earning an honorable mention nod. It was the first time since joining the league that the Utes have landed two players on the preseason all-conference list.
• Maxwell was named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List (top shooting guard). She is one of just five sophomores on the list.
• Gylten earned a spot on the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List (top point guard) for the second straight season.
Under the direction of Lynne Roberts, the Utes have posted a record of 49-16 (75%) in non-conference games (includes regular season non-conference, Pac-12 Tournament games and postseason games).
• Utah has gone undefeated in non-conference games (not including postseason) twice under Lynne Roberts, going 11-0 in 2018-19 and 2016-17.
The Utes are returning four of its top-five scorers from the 2019-20 season this year in Brynna Maxwell (13.1), Lola Pendande (10.8), Dru Gylten (6.9) and Andrea Torres (5.9).
• Utah returns 77-percent of its scoring from last season (1,634 of 2,110 total points). Of the 1,634 points returning, 1,551 was scored by underclassmen in 2019-20 (94%).
• Utah's three leading scorers from last season were underclassmen (Brynna Maxwell, 13.1 ppg; Lola Pendande, 10.8 ppg; Dru Gylten, 6.9 ppg).
• Sophomores Lola Pendande, Brynna Maxwell and Kemery Martín scored 42-percent of Utah's points last season as true freshmen. The trio scored over 25 combined points in 23 games last season.
Utah will be looking for a three-peat this season after breaking the school record for threes made in a season in back-to-back years (253, 2019-20; 239, 2018-19). It was the first time since 2004-05 and 2005-06 that the Utes have had 200+ threes in back-to-back seasons.
• Utah has hit eight or more threes in 52 games under the direction of Lynne Roberts, going 40-12 in those games.
• The Utes have ranked in the Top 30 nationally in threes made and threes made per game the last two seasons, ranking No. 23 nationally and third in the Pac-12 in totals threes in 2019-20.
• Utah also set the single-game threes made record last season with 16 against Colorado (1/17/20), breaking the previous record of 15, set in 2004 vs. TCU.
The Pac-12 has been the nation's top-rated conference by RPI in three of the last five seasons with the Utes facing a Top 25 opponent almost every week. Under the direction of Lynne Roberts, the Utes have knocked off a Top 25 opponent in each of her five seasons.
• Utah's win over No. 21 Arizona State on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 was the second time the Utes have beat the Sun Devils when they were ranked in the Roberts era.
• Utah's win over the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal in 2019 ties for the highest ranked win in school history and was also the first win over Stanford in program history.
• Utah's Top 25 wins in the Roberts era includes No. 21 Arizona State in 2020, No. 6 Stanford in 2019, No. 22 Arizona State in 2018, No. 24 California in 2017 and No. 21 California in 2016.
The Utes currently have nine players on the roster that come from outside the United States (Niyah Becker | Winnipeg, Manitoba; Maurane Corbin | Saint-Bruno, Quebec; Ola Makurat | Sierakowice, Poland; Donna Ntambue | Montreal, Quebec; Isabel Palmer | Newcastle, Australia; Lola Pendande | Almeria, Spain; Zuzanna Puc | Poznan, Poland; Kelsey Rees | Glenelg North, South Australia; Andrea Torres | Terrebonne, Quebec).
• Utah's nine foreign players ties for the league high with Washington State.
• Utah freshman Kelsey Rees is the furthest away from home with Glenelg North, Australia being 8,674 miles from Salt Lake City.
• 64-percent of Utah's 2020-21 roster is from outside the United States.