Women's Basketball Cruises Past Saint Mary's
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah women's basketball team cruised to its third straight victory on Tuesday night as they defeated Saint Mary's (Calif.) 92-50 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
For the second straight game, the Utes (3-0) shot over 50 percent from the floor. In the win over the Gaels (2-1), Utah shot 52.9 percent. They hit nine three-pointers in the contest; the third time this season, they were over eight made three-pointers. Jenna Johnson led the team in scoring with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Dru Gylten collected three assists and moved into seventh place all-time on the Utah career assists list.
Utah came out firing in the first quarter of the contest as Brynna Maxwell hit a three-pointer, putting Utah ahead 9-2. On the next trip down for the Gaels, Taycee Wedin hit a three, which would be the last field goal of the quarter for Saint Mary's. Utah held Saint Mary's without a field goal for the final 4:48 seconds of the quarter and stretched its lead to 12, 18-6 after Johnson hit a jumper at the buzzer to end the first quarter.
The Utah defense continued making things hard for the Gaels in the second quarter as well. After limiting Saint Mary's in the first quarter, Utah's defense limited the Gaels to 23 percent shooting in the second quarter of play. Over the first three minutes of the frame, Utah had stretched its lead to 21, 27-6, after a jumper by Dasia Young. The Utes continued to score an Andrea Torres three put the Utes ahead by 29, 44-29. Utah shot 66 percent(12-for-18) in the second quarter and, by halftime, extended the lead to 34, 49-15.
In the third quarter, both teams traded buckets, and the Utes lead was down to 29-points, 58-29, with five minutes to go in the frame. Each team continued to trade buckets, and after three-quarters of play, Utah led 65-36.
Utah's offense heated up for the final quarter of play as they shot 71 percent (12-of-17) in the last quarter while holding Saint Mary's to shoot 37 percent (6-for-16). Utah went on an 8-0 run over the first three minutes of the quarter. Gylten capped the run with a jumper in the paint. The Utes continued to extend the lead, and after a Johnson three-pointer, Utah led 86-48. Utah added six more points in the quarter and won its third straight 92-56 on Tuesday night.
Utah had three players score in double-figures in the game against Saint Mary's. Jenna Johnson scored a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Dasia Young followed with 12 points, and Brynna Maxwell scored 11 points to round out the double-figure scorers. Inês Vieira led the team with eight assists.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAME: HEAD COACH LYNNE ROBERTS
On the team's hot start
I think this has been a really fun team to watch. I'm very pleased with our efforts. We did great in the assist to turnover ratio again, which I'm very proud of. Our goal coming in was ten turnovers; we had eleven. We had 25 assists on 36 made baskets, which is an insane ratio for us. We didn't shoot it well from three, as Saint Mary's defended the three-point line well, but we still hit nine of them tonight. Overall this was just a really good win.
On tonight's message
These non-conference games are really important. We didn't get non-conference last year, and so we're trying some new things. Our message has been the same each time: focus on what we can control, take good shots, not turning it over, and rebounding. We're only three games in, and it's a process, but I'm very proud of our team.
For the second straight game, Jenna Johnson put up a career-high in points. On Tuesday, she scored 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. She collected five rebounds in the victory. She has now scored 20 plus points in back-to-back games.
Utah returns to action on Friday when they host Cincinnati in non-conference action. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT. The contest can be streamed on UtahUtes.com and will also be on ESPN700.
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