Second Half Stumble Causes Utes To Fall 66-49 Against USC
SALT LAKE CITY – After outscoring USC 33-29 in the first half, the Utah Women's Basketball team was held to just 16 points in the second half as they fell 66-49 to the Trojans. Utah is 5-13 overall this season and 4-13 in Pac-12 play with three regular season games left on the schedule.
Utah shot 36-percent from the floor and 41-percent from the three in the first half, committing just five turnovers while holding the Trojans to 34-percent shooting, also out-rebounding USC 22-18. The second half would be a different story as Utah would commit 12 of its 17 total turnovers in the third and fourth quarters while shooting just 21-percent from the floor and eight-percent from beyond the arc.
The Utes controlled the tempo early in the first quarter, taking a 9-4 lead with 6:44 to go, but USC gained momentum on a 7-0 run to take an 11-9 advantage with under five minutes on the clock. A pivotal three-pointer from sophomore Kemery Martín with 4:17 remaining in the first quarter put the Utes back in the lead with Utah eventually taking a four-point lead into the second.
The Utes shot 40-percent from the floor and the three in the second quarter with junior Niyah Becker giving Utah its biggest lead of the half with 3:05 on the clock on a three-pointer, sending the Utes into the final three minutes of the half with a 31-22 lead. USC was able to outscore the Utes 7-2 in the final minutes of the half, but Utah would head into halftime up 33-29.
The scoring slump would being in the third quarter as Utah wouldn't get on the board until the 4:54 mark with USC going on a 12-0 run during that time span to take a seven-point lead. The Utes committed nine turnovers in the third quarter, but were able to head into the fourth quarter trailing by just two thanks to a Martín three with 35 seconds to go in the period.
Utah would score just seven points in the fourth quarter with USC going on a 15-0 run. The Utes would be unable to find the basket for the final five minutes of the game with USC leaving Salt Lake City with the 66-49 win.
Utah was led in scoring by Becker, who put up a season-high tying 13 points which included 11 in the first half. She also added four rebounds and a career-high four assists.
Sophomore Brynna Maxwell added 12 points while going 6-for-7 from the free throw line, also contributing four rebounds, one assists and a block to her stat line.
Rounding out Utah's double-digit scorers was Martín, who put up 10 points. The sophomore also produced a career-high tying five rebounds and a career-best six assists.
- Niyah Becker has reached double-digits in 10 career games, including in five this season.
- Brynna Maxwell has knocked down 34 threes this season, and two-or-more in 12 games this year and in 37 in her career.
- Kelsey Rees recorded a career-high eight rebounds.
- Kemery Martín has reached double-digits in eight of the last nine games.
The Utes will head out for their final regular season road trip when they travel to take on Washington on Friday, Feb. 19. The game is set for an 8 p.m. MT tip and will be live streamed via Washington.