Women's Hoops Earns 17th Win of the Season
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah women's basketball team earned its 17th win of the season on Thursday night with a 70-58 victory over Oregon State. Utah led the Beavers for the entire contest.
Brynna Maxwell and Jenna Johnson paced the Utes (17-9, 8-6 Pac-12) with 12 points. Kennady McQueen followed with 10 to round out the double-figure scorers for Utah. McQueen and Gianna Kneepkens led Utah with seven rebounds each. Dru Gylten dished out seven assists in the victory. The Utes held Oregon State (13-11, 6-8 Pac-12) to 34 percent shooting in the contest.
The Utes came out strong as Dru Gylten scored the first five points of the game and an old-fashioned three-point play by Kelsey Rees put the Utes ahead by 8-2 in the first two and a half minutes of the game. The Beavers started coming back and had the Utes lead down to three. Utah stretched the lead back to seven, 17-10, after a stepback jumper by Kennady McQueen. After the first quarter of play, Utah took a nine-point, 21-12.
Over the first minute of the second quarter, Utah extended the lead to 15 points after Isabel Palmer hit a driving layup and was fouled. She made the free throw, and Utah led 27-12. The Utes continued to hold onto a double-figure lead for the remainder of the quarter. Palmer made a turnaround jumper in the paint. Utah grew the lead to 16, but Oregon State closed the quarter on a 5-0 run, and Utah led 41-30 at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Johnson hit back-to-back three-pointers, growing the Utes lead back to 17-points. Following the two threes, Oregon State tried to mount a comeback and had the Utes lead down to 13 after a jumper by AJ Marotte. However, the Utes grew the lead back to 15 points after a pair of free throws by Peyton McFarland. After the third quarter, the Utes held an 11-point lead, 57-46.
Utah did not let the Beavers trim the lead down to single-digits as they came out in the fourth quarter scoring eight of the first ten points taking an 18-point lead, 66-48, after a McQueen layup. A minute later, the lead grew to a game-high 19 points, 68-49, after a Dasia Young jumper. Utah came away with a 70-58 victory on Thursday night.
TALKING ABOUT THE GAME: HEAD COACH LYNNE ROBERTS
"I am really proud of our team, and I think we controlled the game. That fourth quarter was a grind, and the second half was not a thing of beauty. It was a 18-point game at one point, which was great, and they just tried to shorten the game and get back into it. I thought defensively we were really good, he's a phenomenal coach, and they run a lot of really good stuff. Our team was dialed in and communicated well, and did a really good job. Our kids battled like crazy, so I'm proud of our team."
The Utes had three players in double-figures as Maxwell and Johnson led the team with 12 points. McQueen followed with 10 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. Gianna Kneepkens tied McQueen for the team lead with seven rebounds. Dru Gylten dished out seven assists on the day, and Kelsey Rees led the team with three blocks.
- In Thursday's win against Oregon State, Utah turned the ball over only eight times, the least they've had all season. This is a drastic improvement as the Utes had turned the ball over on average 18.3 times per game in the last nine games.
- Utah shot a perfect 12 for 12 from the free-throw line. It's the first time Utah hadn't missed a free throw in a game all season. Utah entered the game as the top-ranked free-throw shooting team in the Pac-12.
Utah closes out the regular season on Saturday when they host the University of Oregon on Senior Day. Tip-off for the contest will be at 1 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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