Utah Women's Basketball Edged By Trojans, 60-59
LOS ANGELES – It was a game of runs and lead changes in the Galen Center tonight as the Utah Women's Basketball team battled the USC Trojans, but the Utes were unable to walk away with the win as USC won 60-59. Utah is 3-6 overall this season and 2-6 in Pac-12 play.
Despite holding the lead for over 24 minutes of the game, Utah's offense would stumble in the second half, shooting just 25-percent from the floor while being outscored 24-22. The Utes shot 30-percent overall and 34-percent from the three for the game.
The Utes came out strong, shooting 45-percent overall and 43-percent from the three in the first quarter, also forcing five turnovers in the period with nine points off the Trojan mistakes. The Utes trailed 6-9 with 7:09 in the first, but back-to-back threes from Brynna Maxwell and a layup from Peyton McFarland would put the Utes in the lead for the remainder of the quarter.
Utah entered the second quarter with a four-point advantage, but the Utes' shooting percentage dropped off while committing six turnovers in the quarter. A 6-0 run by USC late gave the Trojans a 34-32 lead with 1:53 remaining in the half, but Andrea Torres would knock down a key three-pointer with 1:02 to go with Utah taking a 37-36 lead into halftime.
USC was able to take a five-point lead with 4:04 left in the third quarter after a scoring drought from the Utes allowed the Trojans to gain a two possession advantage. The Utes would answer though with Dru Gylten and Maxwell hitting back-to-back threes to regain the lead for the Utes with 2:55 on the clock.
Utah held a five-point lead with 7:28 left to play in the game, but the Utes would once again hit a scoring drought with USC going on a 10-0 run over a four-minute span to take a 60-55 lead with 3:06 remaining. The Utes wouldn't quit, scoring four unanswered points that included a huge offensive rebound and put-back from Niyah Becker to make it a one-point game with 2:14 on the clock.
Both teams would have multiple offensive possessions in the final two minutes of the game with turnovers and steals on both sides, but no points. The Utes would get a final shot with two seconds left on the clock, but were unable to get it to drop with USC getting the one-point victory.
Maxwell finished the game with an even game-high 20 points, shooting 5-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-7 from the three and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. She added two rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a career-high tying four steals.
Gylten put up a season-high 15 points which included a career-high night at the free throw line, going 9-for-10 with seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Kemery Martín also added nine points, shooting 50-percent from the three (2-4).
- Maxwell has reached the 20-point mark in back-to-back games (24 points vs. Washington, 1/3/21). It is the second time in her career she has had back-to-back 20-point outings (24 points at Colorado, 1/17/20; 27 points at Cal, 1/24/20). She has eight-career games in the 20-point range.
- Maxwell has scored 18 points off free throws in the last two games (11-12 vs. Washington, 1/3; 7-7 at USC, 1/8). She is 44-of-46 overall this season (.957), which ranks first in the Pac-12 and in the top-25 in Division I women's basketball.
The Utes will stay on the road to take on the No. 9 UCLA Bruins on Sunday, Jan. 10. The game will air on Pac-12 Mountain and Pac-12 Los Angeles and will tip off at 2 p.m. MT.