Women's Basketball Falls Short to No. 19 Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. – The Utah women's basketball team came up short of an upset bid to No. 19 Oregon as they were defeated 70-66 on Wednesday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena. Utah had four players score in double-figures in the contest.
The Utes (10-6, 1-3 Pac-12) hit eight threes in the game, with Kennady McQueen and Brynna Maxwell making three each. Gianna Kneepkens led the team with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting against the Ducks (12-5, 4-1 Pac-12). Kelsey Rees picked up a team-high seven rebounds for the Utes.
Dru Gylten got the scoring started in the contest. Following her bucket, Kennady McQueen tied the game at 5-5 after hitting a three. The Ducks went on a 6-0 run taking an 11-5 lead over the Utes. Layups by Gylten and Dasia Young, and a three by McQueen, put Utah ahead 12-11. The Utes offense went the final 2:26 left in the quarter without a field goal and trailed 18-13 after the first quarter of play.
The Utes offense started heating up in the second quarter, as Young got the Utes going with a layup. Trailing by seven, 22-15, Utah scored four straight points on a driving layup by Gianna Kneepkens and a jumper by Kelsey Rees. Utah tied the game at 22-22 after Kneepkens found Brynna Maxwell open for three. Utah's defense held the Ducks without a field goal for a seven minutes stretch in the quarter. Another three by Maxwell put the Utes ahead 27-24. The Utes took a 29-28 lead into halftime.
Oregon came out and regained the lead early in the third quarter over the Utes. With Utah trailing by nine, 40-31, McQueen went to the hoop and hit a layup. Gylten followed by hitting a pair of free throws, cutting the Ducks lead down to five. Utah continued to battle, and a three by McQueen put the Utes down two, 40-38. After three quarters, Oregon again extended the lead to five, 49-44.
The Utes and the Ducks continued to battle in the fourth quarter. With Oregon ahead by seven, 53-46, Kneepkens scored five straight for the Utes and took the lead down to two, 53-51, with 7:28 to go in the game. The game would stay close, and after a three put the Ducks ahead by five, Gylten answered back with a three-pointer making it a two-point game, 58-56.
Kneepkens had a huge fourth quarter for the Utes as she scored 13 of her 17 in the final frame. With 2:34 left, Kneepkens hit a layup that tied the game at 60. However, Utah could never take the lead and fell short against No. 19 Oregon, 70-66.
Utah had four players score in double-figures, led by freshman Gianna Kneepkens with 17 points. Brynna Maxwell came off the bench and scored 14. Kennady McQueen and Dru Gylten rounded out the double-figure scorers with 13 and 11 points, respectfully. Kelsey Rees grabbed a season-high seven rebounds.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAME: HEAD COACH LYNNE ROBERTS
"I know I'm tired of saying it, so people are probably tired of hearing it… but we are SO close. I'm incredibly proud of the team's fight today. We had chances to win it but didn't. As they finally are now, a healthy Oregon team is a top 10 team without question. On the road, we took the game to the very last minute. Oregon made plays and closed it out nicely. We just have to keep showing up, keep chopping wood, and continue competing."
Brynna Maxwell and Kennady McQueen were on fire from deep in the contest against Oregon. They combined for 6-of-10 shooting from three-point range and combined for 27 points. McQueen shot 5-for-11 from the floor. Besides shooting the ball well, Maxwell collected six rebounds in the contest.
Utah returns home to face Colorado on Friday, Jan. 28, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks or by turning on ESPN700 and listening to Tyson Ewing. Friday night is TikTok night at the Huntsman Center. The first 200 fans will receive a ring light.
Follow the Utes!
Fans can follow along during the 2021-22 season on social media (Twitter: @UtahWBB | Instagram: @UtahWBB | Facebook: Facebook.com/UtahWBB).