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Women's Hoops Defeats UCLA at Pauley Pavilion

Feb 20, 2022

LOS ANGELES – For the first time since Nov. 17, 2000, the Utah women's basketball team defeated UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. On Sunday afternoon, the Utes came away with a 75-70 win over the Bruins. This was the first win for Utah over UCLA in the Pac-12 era.
Jenna Johnson led the Utes with a game-high 20 points. Following Johnson was freshman Gianna Kneepkens with 17 points. Brynna Maxwell came off the bench and scored 15, and Kennady McQueen added ten for the Utes (16-9, 7-6 Pac-12). The Utes hit ten threes in the win against UCLA (11-11, 6-8 Pac-12). This was the sixth straight game Utah hit eight or more threes in a game. Utah forced the Bruins into 23 turnovers in the contest.
Opening the contest, the Utes came strong as Kennady McQueen hit a three-pointer, and on the next trip down, Gianna Kneepekns got the steal and a layup, putting the Utes ahead early 5-2. With the Utes ahead 7-4, the Bruins went on an 8-0 run, taking a 12-7 lead with 6:43 left in the first quarter. The Utes battled back, and a layup by Kneepkens put Utah ahead 14-13. Both teams traded buckets to end the quarter, and Utah trailed by one, 18-17.
Utah continued to battle in the second quarter as Johnson scored four straight points, tying the game at 21-21. After tying the game, the Bruins went on a 10-3 run taking a 31-24 lead. Utah scored three more points in the quarter when Johnson found her teammate Kneepkens for a three. Utah trailed by eight, 35-27, at halftime. Utah shot 3-for-15 in the second quarter.
The Utes came out strong in the third quarter as they outscored the Bruins 25-9 in the quarter. With Utah down seven, a driving layup by Kneepkens got the Utes scoring. Utah went on an 8-0 run to tie the game. After trading buckets, a three by McQueen put the Utes ahead by one, 40-39. Utah closed the quarter by scoring the last eight points. Brynna Maxwell hit back-to-back threes putting Utah ahead by eight, 52-44 after three-quarters of play.
The Utes stretched their lead to 10, 54-44, opening the fourth quarter after a jumper by Maxwell. Utah and UCLA traded buckets, but the Utes increased its lead to 12, 61-49, after a pair of free throws by Maxwell. Over the next two minutes, the Bruins trimmed the lead down to six, with 4:12 left in the game. Maxwell again came up big as she hit a three-putting the lead up to nine. The Bruins would not go away, but Utah had an answer for each run. The Bruins would get as close as three points, 73-70, with 12 seconds to go, but Maxwell hit a pair of free throws to seal the 75-70 victory.
"We got the win when we absolutely had to get it, and I am so proud of our team. We struggled to find the basket in the first half, but 47 points in the 2nd half combined with some fantastic defense was great to see. We showed mental toughness to bounce back from Friday. UCLA is tough to beat."
Jenna Johnson returned to the action on Sunday and scored a game-high 20 points. Teammate Gianna Kneepkens followed with 17 in the contest. Peyton McFarland led the Utes with six rebounds. Dru Gylten continued to add to her assists mark at Utah as she had three in the game, and Kennady McQueen tied a career-high with four steals.  
For the 19th time this season, Utah made eight or more three-pointers in a game. Utah made ten against the Bruins, led by Brynna Maxwell's three. This was the sixth straight game that Utah made eight or more threes. Under the direction of Lynne Roberts, Utah improves to 58-23 in games with eight or more threes.
Utah made ten threes in the win at UCLA and now have hit 243 this season. This is the second-most in program history in a single season. The most Utah has ever hit in a single season is 253, which was accomplished during the 2019-20 season.
Utah hosts Oregon State on Thursday, Feb. 24, against Oregon State. The contest will tip at 5:30 p.m. MT. You can turn on ESPN700 and hear Tyson Ewing and Milee Enger on the call. The game will also be streamed on the Pac-12 Networks. 
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