Fourth Quarter Comeback Falls Short Against No. 21/23 BYU
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah women's basketball team's fourth-quarter rally fell short on Saturday evening as they would fall to No. 21/23 BYU, 85-80, in a non-conference matchup at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Utah's (6-2) Gianna Kneepkens came off the bench and led the Utes with 29 points. The 29 points was a career-high. She was one of three in double-figures for Utah. Jenna Johnson and Brynna Maxwell followed with ten points against BYU (8-0). The Utes continued to shoot well from deep as they hit 12 threes in the game. Dru Gylten led the Utes with eight assists.
Opening up the contest, the Utes and Cougars were trading buckets, and after a layup by Jenna Johnson, the Utes found themselves down one, 5-4. Brigham Young slowly stretched the lead to 12, 19-7, following a Paisley Harding three. Utah ended the first quarter on a 7-0 run and trimmed the Cougars lead down to seven after a Gianna Kneepkens three-pointer to close out the quarter. Utah trailed 24-17 after one-quarter of play.
After a Brynna Maxwell three, the Utes were down five, 29-24, in the second quarter. Moments later after a missed jumper by BYU, Utah trimmed the lead to three after a jumper by Maxwell. The game would stay close, but Utah trailed 44-33 at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, the Cougars stretched its lead to 21, but Utah would fight back. Five straight points by Gylten and the Utes were back in business. Utah battled and got the game down to 14 late in the third quarter.
Utah's best quarter was the final quarter. Trailing by 18, Utah's Dasia Young hit a three-pointer to get the Utes offense started. Her three led to Kneepkens scoring seven straight points and getting the lead down to 12, 74-62, with 5:53 left in the game.
A few minutes later, the Utes Kennady McQueen would hit back-to-back three-pointers, and the Utes had the Cougars lead down to five, 82-77. With 21 seconds left, BYU went one-for-two at the line, and Utah's Kneepkens hit her fourth three, making it a one-possession game at 83-80. However, that would be as close as Utah would get as Utah would fall 85-80.
Gianna Kneepkens led a trio of Utes in double-figures. Kneepkens came off the bench and scored 29 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Jenna Johnson and Brynna Maxwell followed with 10 points each. Kennady McQueen led the Utes with six rebounds in the game, while Dru Gylten dished out eight assists to lead the Utes.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAME: HEAD COACH LYNNE ROBERTS
"I thought it was a great atmosphere. Credit BYU; I thought they played really well. I think they're legit this year. I mean, not to say they haven't been in the past, but I think they're just this is the best team I've seen, and they did a nice job. We have to give them credit. I thought we were great in the fourth quarter. If you look at shot attempts and rebounds, we had more chances than them. We didn't shoot as well. Part of that it's a credit to their defense. Their shooting, probably, is credited to maybe not our best defense. I'm incredibly proud of our team for the fight they showed. We were down 21 at one point, but to come back and scored 29 points in that fourth quarter. It came down to that. I thought it was a great fourth quarter for us, but just kind of a little bit too late but really proud of my team, and we'll you know we'll learn from this and move on. Again, BYU is really good, and this is not a bad loss, and I think there will be things we can take from it. Things we need to get better at, and we will."
Utah hit 12-three pointers in the matchup against the Cougars. This was the fifth time the Utes made 12 or more three-pointers this season. Over the last three games, Utah has made 12 or more threes in each. This is the 46th game since 2009-10 that Utah has made ten or more threes in a game.
Utah returns to action on Friday, December 10, when they play host Cal State Fullerton at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT. The game will be aired on UtahUtes.com and on ESPN700.
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