Women's Basketball Closes Out Rainbow Wahine Showdown with Win
HONOLULU – The University of Utah women's basketball team closed the Rainbow Wahine Showdown on Sunday afternoon with a 93-77 victory over Eastern Illinois. With the win, the Utes improved to 6-1 on the season.
Ten Utah players scored in the game, led by Jenna Johnson, who tied her career-high with 22 points. She also led the team with six rebounds. Kennady McQueen and Gianna Kneepkens followed with 14 points each. Dasia Young and Inês Vieira rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 and 11 points, respectfully. Young led the Utes with seven assists.
The Utes came out on fire as they opened the contest against the Panthers on a 16-0 run. During the run, the Utes had four different players score. Utah opened the game 8-for-8 shooting and 5-for-5 from threes.The 16-0 run was over the first 2:20 of the game. The lead grew to 20, 24-4, after a McQueen three with 4:46 left in the quarter. The Utes continued to extend the lead, and after a Kelsey Rees layup, Utah led 34-12 at the end of the first quarter of play.
Opening the second quarter, Eastern Illinois came back and scored the first seven points trimming the Utes lead down to 15, 34-19. After the lead was cut to 15 points, the Utes answered back, and after a Young fast-break layup, Utah led 42-23. Utah's outside shooting continued to stay hot as Johnson and Kneepkens hit threes later in the quarter for Utah. The Utes took a 21-point lead, 52-31, lead into halftime. Utah shot 58 percent from the floor and hit nine threes in the first half.
The Utes continued to hold onto a 20-point lead after a pair of free throws by Young. The lead grew to 24 points, following a layup by Johnson and a three by McQueen. The Panthers used a late run in the quarter, taking the Utes lead down to 14 points, but a three by McQueen at the buzzer put the Utes head by 17, 74-57, after three-quarters of play.
The lead went back to 20 to open the fourth quarter after a Vieira three-pointer. Following the three, the Utes and Panthers traded buckets, but Kneepkens and Vieira hit two more threes for the Utes, keeping the Utes lead at 24, 83-59. Utah did not let the Panthers back into the game and came away with a 93-77 victory. The win is the sixth of the season for the Utes.
Utah was led in scoring by freshman Jenna Johnson with 22 points. Her 22-points tied her career-high. She was 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. Johnson led the team with six rebounds, while Dasia Young led the team with seven assists.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAME: HEAD COACH LYNNE ROBERTS
"We relaxed defensively in the second half, but we got a good win against a good team. Our defense needs to get better; in the second half, we were not very tough. On the offensive end, we hit shots and got back to the way we can shoot the ball."
For the fourth time this season, the Utes hit ten or more threes in a contest. Against Eastern Illinois, the Utes hit 16 threes, the second-most in a game this season. This is only the third time in program history that Utah hit 15 or more three-pointers in a game. This is the 45th game since 2009-10 that Utah has made ten or more threes in a game. Utah improved to 35-10 in those games.
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Utah returns to action on Saturday, December 4, when they play host Brigham Young at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. MT. The game will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks and on ESPN700.
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