Women's Basketball Falls 57-48 In First Round Of Pac-12 Tournament To Washington State
LAS VEGAS – The University of Utah Women's Basketball team battled the Washington State Cougars tonight in the first round of the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament, falling 58-47 after a fourth quarter comeback came up short. Utah finished the season 5-16 overall.
The Utes struggled to find consistency on offense, shooting 23-percent overall and 22-percent from the three. Utah committed a season-low nine turnovers against the Cougars, but big runs by the Cougars' kept the Utes trailing for the remainder of the game after the first quarter.
After getting out to a slow start, back-to-back threes from sophomores Kemery Martín and Brynna Maxwell gave the Utes an 11-8 lead with 6:54 to go on the clock. The Utes would shoot 40-percent from the floor in the first quarter with Martín knocking down eight points in the period to give Utah a 17-16 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Utah's offense would stumble in the second quarter though, not scoring until the 3:08 mark in the period, allowing Washington State to take off on an 11-0 run to take a 27-17 lead. The Utes would continue to battle though, answering with a 6-0 run while holding Washington State scoreless for the final 3:55 of the second quarter to make it a four-point game.
Utah's offensive woes continued in the third quarter with the Utes scoring just one field goal, going 1-for-12 in the period (8.3%) with Washington State leading by as many as 14 in the period. The Utes were able to hold Washington State to 29-percent shooting in the third though, going into the fourth down eight.
The Utes' fight didn't falter in the fourth quarter, going on a 7-0 run with 6:15 remaining in the game, capping it off with a pivotal three from Maxwell to make it a three-point game. Unfortunately for the Utes, the Cougars would once again answer with a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 12 with under four minutes to play with Utah unable to make up the gap, falling 57-48.
Utah was led in scoring by Maxwell who recorded 15 points on five made field goals, including two from deep. She tied for the team-lead in rebounds with six, also notching a steal.
Martín was Utah's other double-digit scorer with 13 points, also grabbing six boards with an assist and steal. Niyah Becker and Peyton McFarland also tied for the team-lead with six rebounds each while Becker also finished with two steals and two assists.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAME: HEAD COACH LYNNE ROBERTS
"We just couldn't score. We got really, really good looks around the basket. We just missed so many shots, and it was an extremely physical game, so maybe in other games we get to the free throw line a little bit more. I thought our team did what we asked them to do. We were running the stuff that we wanted to run, getting to the paint, getting good shots, we just missed baskets."
"There is always a silver lining. What do they say, 'it is always the darkest before the dawn.' I think we've got tremendous guard play, and we've got some tremendous guards coming in. We're just really young. I love this team, and I love this program. I don't love how we did this year in terms of outcome, but I do love and believe in them. There is no secret sauce, you just have to work hard and get better and that's what we've got to get back to."